The Environment Protection Agency (EPA-SL) was established by an Act of Parliament in 2008 (as amended in July 2010). The Agency has a Board of Directors headed by an Executive Chairperson (EC) as provided by the Act who shall have control and oversight responsibility of the Agency. The Act further stipulates that there shall be a Director appointed by the Board who serves as Secretary to the Board and who shall be responsible for the day to day administration of the Agency. This Director would be assisted by other Deputy Directors each heading one of the directorates of the Agency including Finance and Administration.
Finance and Administration Department
The Finance and Administration Department exists by virtue of section 15(1) (c) of the EPA –SL Act of 2008 (as amended in 2010). This Department is essential for the successful implementation of the Strategic Action Plan of the Agency as it provides general administrative and financial management functions. It is headed by a Deputy Director of Finance and Administration to be assisted by an Assistant Deputy Director of Finance & Administration, Human Resources Manager, Head of Finance, Procurement Head, Senior Finance/Admin Officers, Regional Admin/Finance Officers and other support staff. This department consists of three divisions/Units namely:
- Finance/Admin Division; headed by Head of Finance
- HR Division; headed by Human Resources Manager
- Procurement Division; Headed by Head of Procurement.
The Finance/Admin Unit
The Finance and admin unit is the umbrella unit of this department headed by the Deputy Director of Finance and Administration. It is a core function established for the provision of both financial and administrative support to the Agency’s operations as enshrined in the Act and also in the approved Accounting and Financial Procedures manual. It serves as a sepulcher through which financial and administrative transactions flow through; and in which, records of such transactions can be retrieved. It provides supportive role to the Agency through the performance of various functions among them are highlighted in the general responsibilities below.
The Human Resource Unit
The Human Resource Unit of the Environment Protection Agency, Sierra Leone, is managed by the Head of the Unit. It strives to provide an employee-friendly environment for employees to effectively implement the mandate of the Agency. Employees of the Agency are expected to be honest, ethical and impartial in the manner in which they employ their skill, knowledge, experience and official functions and shall at all times maintain the highest standards of integrity.
The unit is committed to fair and equitable practice with regards to all personnel matters included but not limited to recruitment, promotion, transfer and termination of employees.
Personnel action shall be based on individual merit, skill and non-discrimination on the basis of gender, religion, ethnic origin or political affiliation.
Employment at the EPA is purely voluntary, based upon the consent of the employee and the Agency and may be terminated at will in accordance with the provisions set forth in the contract of employment.
The procurement unit is a sub-unit of the Admin and Finance department. The unit is generally responsible for the purchase of goods and services for the agency and coordinates other administrative /Logistics functions such as fleet, assets and stores management.
The unit currently has one staff, Assistant Head procurement that leads and coordinates procurement functions for the entirely agency but work alongside the Logistics Assistant and ….to allow segregation of duties. The Assistant Head Procurement reports directly to the Deputy Director, Administration and Finance.
This unit performs various functions among them are the following:
- Planning of procurement
- Preparation of bids and bidding documents
- Publication & distribution of invitations of bids
- Receiving & safeguarding of bids
- Evaluation of bids
- Assessment of the quality of procured goods, works & services
- Sourcing and profiling of all suppliers, contractors & consultant and maintenance of database
The unit is also overseen by the procurement committee for larger purchase of Le 60m and above. The role of the committee includes verification and approval of proper procurement planning and preparation of procurement proceedings, consideration and approval of draft bidding documents, review and approval of evaluation reports and contract award recommendation.
General Functions & Responsibilities of Finance/Admin Department
The general functions of the Department include but not limited to the following:
- Planning – it provides a suitable financial framework for planning, business planning, budgeting including capital budgeting and forecasting
- It is the central coordinating unit for all administrative matters of the Agency. It provides assistance to the Executive Chairperson for the day to day management of the Agency.
- It is charged with the duties of keeping proper books of account and proper records in relations to the Agency and this must be done in accordance with financial regulatory standards and systems as established by law and as enshrined in the Agency approved Accounting and Financial manual.
- Ensure effective deployment of personnel and undertake annual human resource reviews through maintenance of accurate and updated personnel records system
- Ensure effective procurement of supplies through competitive bidding/tendering in accordance with the NPPA Act;
- It provides assistance to the EC in the processing of expenditures and disbursements for and on behalf of the Agency.
- It is responsible for safeguarding of all banking instructions including general bank correspondences
- Finance and Administration Department is also charged with the responsibility of opening and closing of bank accounts, accounts reconciliation and petty cash management for the Agency
- Ensure the effective and efficient management of the Agency resources particularly office equipment, vehicles and buildings;
- Coordinates both internal and external audits of the Agency’s operations
- Ensure prudent development of human resources/staff training;
- Provide timely information for management to assist them in controlling the various activities of the Agency on a daily basis;
- Treasury- Managing cash and bank processes particularly in relation to funding and investment activities
- Ensure timely preparation of all financial reports for onward submission to management and donors.