Management and functional review ministry of transport and aviation

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Oversight Responsibility

The Ministry of Transport and Aviation has oversight responsibility of the Meteorological Department. We recommend that the Ministry continues to exercise such mandate until when the Department would have been transformed into an Agency. We further recommend that the transformation process is expedited.

Inadequate Budget Allocation

Government budget allocation to the department is inadequate. This has been adversely affecting the output of the Department. The functions of the Department require a highly technical workforce, as well as the provision and use of the appropriate equipment for their operations. We were informed, for instance, the department has not being able to replace the destroyed weather forecasting radar situated at Tower Hill despite various appeals and representations to the Ministry. We therefore recommend that Government should provide adequate funding for the Department to allow it operate as a Meteorological Department.


The Procurement Act does not discriminate against MDAs with respect to size or volume of activities. The Review team noted that the Meteorological Department has a functional Procurement Committee. However, the procurement Committee of the Department meets with the Ministry’s procurement committee as and when necessary.

We recommend that the Department should continue to implement the procurement rules as prescribed in the Procurement Act and the procurement committee should continue to function even after the initial discussions in the budget allocation.

Material Resources and Accommodation

For the past decades, the department has been permanently housed in an environment that is not conducive for meteorological activities. As stated inter-alia in this report, the department is grossly incapacitated in terms of fiscal availability. As such it lacks the resources to purchase modern equipment for its day-to-day operations. The office space provided for the department is inadequate and dilapidated. We recommend that the Government provides adequate and conducive office accommodation for the department.


Statutory Framework

The Sierra Leone Maritime Administration Act 2000 established the Sierra Leone Maritime Administration Office as an autonomous and regulatory body for the registration of ships and other vessels; the licensing and safety of maritime personnel; and the regulation and development of maritime, coastal and inland water transport.

The Act makes provision for a Board of Directors that has control and supervision over the administration with responsibilities as follows: -

  1. Securing the implementation of the functions of the administration;

  2. Approving policies for the proper management of the administration; and

  3. Sound and proper financial management of the Administration.

The Board is headed by a Chairman; four persons being designated as representatives by each of the following institutions: -

  • The Ministries of Transport and Aviation; Fisheries and Marine Resources; the Department of Customs and Excise of NRA; and the Ports Authority.

  • A person appointed for his knowledge and experience in the legal aspect of the Maritime Industry;

  • the Executive Director and

  • three persons one of whom should be nominated by the Minister and the others nominated by an association of persons in the Maritime and Coastal and Inland Water Transport business recognized by the Minister.

We note the provisions of the Act and believe that after 10 years of operations SLMA is in place to seek an amendment based on a new policy on Maritime Administration. We therefore recommend to the Board that a Policy on Maritime Administration for Sierra Leone be produced, and that, based on that policy, the Board seek an amendment of the Maritime Administration Act of 2000.

Vision Statement

To establish an efficient regulatory body for the registration of ships and other vessels, and the licensing and safety of all Maritime Personnel and the regulation and development of Maritime, Coastal inland water transportation.

Mission Statement

To administer and regulate and develop improved standard of performance, practice and safety in the shipping Industry in Sierra Leone, including Coastal and Inland water transport system.

Functions and mandate

The Maritime Administration was established to regulate and develop improved standards of performance, practice and safety in the shipping industry of Sierra Leone, including the coastal and inlands water transport system, and in maritime environment.

It also carries out the following functions: -

  1. To administer, in addition to the administration of the Registration of Shipping Act, 1965 and any other legislation relating to maritime affairs;

  2. To ensure the safety of navigation in the territorial sea;

  3. To fulfil flag state and port state responsibilities in an effective manner having regard to the relevant international maritime conventions, codes and other instruments;

  4. To deal with maritime search and rescue matters including the coordination of the search and rescue operations of the Armed Forces of Sierra Leone, the Ports Authority, and the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources;

  5. To regulate shipping in inland waterways, including the safety of navigation;

  6. To investigate any accidents of maritime casualty and taking such action thereon as may be appropriate;

  7. To plan monitor and evaluate training programmes against any maritime convention and to oversee the training, and recruitment and welfare of Sierra Leonean seafarer accordingly;

  8. To ensure in collaboration with such other public bodies as the board may determine the prevention of maritime source pollution, protection of the marine environment and response to marine environment incidents.

  9. To pursue the ratification or accession and implementation of international maritime conventions in conjunction with other appropriate agencies of Government:

  10. To access the manpower needs of the maritime sector for national planning purposes;

  11. To liaise effectively with other public bodies of maritime transport and related transport matters for the purposes of harmonizing activities in the maritime industry;

  12. To initiate research into national maritime transport development for effective planning and coordination;

  1. To ensure an efficient, cost-effective and orderly provision of shipping services, including the determination of rates for freight and passenger services;

  2. To initiate action for the promotion, establishment and development of private shipping lines;

  3. To propose policies for the development and maintenance of maritime infrastructure such as ports and harbours with other interested organizations in Sierra Leone;

  4. To advice the Government on maritime affairs generally;

  5. To represent Sierra Leone at both national and international fora on maritime matters and

  6. To do all such things as will contribute to the attainment of the objective of the administration stated in subsection (1).

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