23 June 2008

Liberia: GAC Rejects CBI's Documents

Monrovia — Bank statements from the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) submitted to the General Auditing Commission (GAC) last week has been condemned and ordered returned to the bank.

The GAC rejected the financial documents from the bank after Auditor General John Morlu expressed indignation over the lack of standard associated with accounting principle and procedures that should have been followed by the bank.

GAC's Communication Director James Jensen confirmed that bank statements were rejected by Mr. Morlu and ordered the documents to be returned to the bank.

According to Jensen, when examined by the Auditor General, he discovered that the documents did not meet the standards that are in line with the best accounting practices.

Quoting Mr. Morlu, the GAC Communication Director said, regardless of this development, the audit is ongoing.

Meantime, an auditor at the GAC, speaking on condition of anonymity, who helped to examine some of the documents from the CBL, said they were saddled with incomplete running balances, contradictory narrations and did not establish any form of transparency.

The auditor said certain relevant portions of the documents were either altered or deleted, while references, value data, debit and credit statements, among others, were not included.

"You cannot conduct an audit without knowing these information and other transactions from the bank," the said.

Deputy CBL Governor Ethel Davies when contacted said she will not speak on the issue.

However, the Auditing office says bank statements which covered the fiscal period of 2005/2006, 2006/2007 is the basis for which it is conducting audit of all government institutions.

The wrangle between the two institutions was prompted by a request made more than three weeks ago by Auditor General Morlu who accused the bank and the Ministry of Finance of stalling ongoing audits by failing to submit documents requested.

The CBL and the Finance Ministry had agreed to submit their bank statements on June 20, but to date, the Finance Ministry has remained defiant.

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