For the first time in the history of fiscal probity in Africa's oldest republic, the supreme audit outfit in Liberia, the General Auditing Commission-GAC, has presented its first special Forensic Audit report of the Auditor General to parliament. It is mandated by law to report to the Legislature.
In 2005, an Act of Legislature amended section 53 of the Executive Law of 1972 creating the GAC; making the entity independent of the executive branch of government. This led to the recruitment of the current head of the institution, John S. Morlu II, 2006 by the European Union in alliance with the Liberian government. This was done through a conventional vetting process that saw the participation of other nationals having advertised the job in 150 countries the world over.
The presentation of the audit report on Wednesday to the Lawmakers at the Capitol Building-home of the Lawmakers- in Monrovia, signals a dawn of a new era in the fight against fraud and abuse of public fund in Liberia. Till now, this is the inaugural presentation of an audit report to parliament in the history of the continent’s oldest republic.
The Special Forensic Audit Report of the Auditor General on the Bong Mines Community Escrow Account was received by Genevee Massaquoi, Assistant Secretary of the Senate and the Chief Clerk of the House of Representative, Atty. James Karbah on behalf of the lawmakers.
Thirty one copies of the report were given to the Senate, while the Representative received 65 copies. The Liberia National Legislature, the first branch of government, comprises 96 Legislators, 64 Representatives making up the lower House and 30 Senators.
Making the presentation on behalf of the Auditor General, in separate remarks, GAC head of communication, James Jensen, said “GAC’s unbending commitment in making sure that public monies are truly accounted for the general goods of the public”.
“The proper management and application of public resources, is a cardinal platform of directing more donors funding for Liberia and a truest means for Liberia’s post war economic recovery,” Jensen noted.
He praised international partners like the European Commission, American government plus other partners that have been backbones of support to GAC’s quest to cleanse Liberia from the chain of fiscal improprieties, wastes, corruption and abuse of resources.
He assured the lawmakers that the Auditor General (AG), John S. Morlu II, will in a short period present additional audit reports to members of the legislature.
Both Massaquoi and Chief Clerk Karbah expressed appreciation for the report and promised to present them to the lawmakers. The Special Forensic Audit report of the Bong Mines Community escrow account covers the fiscal year ended 2006/2007.
The former mining town, Bong Mines is situated in Bong County, central Liberia. The audit commissioned by the Auditor General included the audits of financial and related records pertaining to three projects in Fuamah District in Bong County. They included Handii road, rehabilitation of the annex to Handii Clinic and seven classroom school construction and clinic renovation all totaling US$236,693.9.
In a related development: a GAC source said the entity has “completed the audits of several government institutions, including, the National Social Security and Welfare Corporation (NASSCORP); National Housing Authority (NPA), National Lotteries, Independent Human Rights Commission (IHRC); and the Ministry of Finance”.