8 November 2012

Liberia: U.S.$29,000 Scandal At GSA

Amidst roars over corruption and administrative incompetence in government, coupled with recent allegation that the Director General of the General Services Agency (GSA) Madam Pearine Davis Parkinson withdrew US$4,000.00 from the Agency's account for lunch, this paper has gathered that the GSA boss dip even deeper into the account than has been earlier reported.

A source at the GSA hinted the New Dawn that the embattled Director General and her deputy for operations, Boakai A.M. Sirleaf, allegedly withdrew the amount of US$29,000.00 from the GSA's account with the Central Bank of Liberia (Account # 0220630051602) on various occasions as reimbursement after they returned from a training program in Governance and Economic Management in America.

The program was sponsored by the USAID's Bureau of Economic Growth, Agriculture and Trade office of education, according to a USAID document obtained by this paper.

In another development, a document from the office of the GSA Director General Pearine Davis Parkinson, written to the Deputy Director General for Administration, Alexander Kromah, dated July 9, 2012, instructed that all finance, personnel and other departments as of the date of the letter, report all documents and financial records directly to her (Parkinson's) office.

" I am therefore, until such time as we establish adequate processes to safeguard the Agency reputation and due to the fact as head of the GSA I was singularly held accountable for funds disbursed by your office as reimbursement, I am instructing the Finance Department and Personnel and all other departments reporting to Administration to report directly to my office and I will direct the process to prevent any reoccurrences", Madam Parkinson wrote.

The document states that the instruction comes in the wake of the GSA DG for Administration reported refusal to submit documents approved by him (Kromah), to the Director-General after she was appointed by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.

Madam Parkinson further explained in her communication to Kromah: "let's consider the fact upon my appointment as DG, I asked you about documents approved by you that had no supporting documentation in which your responses have been denial or they were done by verbal consent with your bosses; with no discussions or intervention on your part as DG for Administration who originated the payments of published invoices."

Effort to contact Madam Parkinson was unsuccessful as her mobile phone rang endlessly without answer when she was contacted by this paper.

Recently, employees of the GSA held a three-day strike on grounds that the Director-General was squandering, usurping and disrespecting other directors and employees of the entity.

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