8 November 2012

Liberia: Witch-Hunting At GAC?

The General Auditing Commission has sacked 42 employees, citing bad administrative practice by the former Auditing General, Mr. John Morlu.

The administration of Auditor General Robert Kilby also accused Mr. Morlu of bringing in 63 new employees, which he said brought economic constraints on the budget of the commission.

But most of the persons employed by Mr. Morlu but laid-off by Mr. Kilby are accusing the new Auditor General of "witch-hunting."

"We anticipated this action from the Kilby administration. When he came here, he told us to fill in new forms. We knew what he was out for. He is witch hunting. Women like us were employed based on our qualification and the need for the job," one-affected person told this paper yesterday.

But GAC's Communication Direction and Public Relations Officer, Nathaniel Brumskine argued that the commission's decision was in the best interest of its survival, and denied news reports that the Kilby administration was engaged in witch-hunting at GAC.

"When the Kilby administration took over, we had a budget of $US6 million, but $US5.8 million out of that amount is being spent on payroll alone, leaving the entity with virtually nothing to survive. Therefore, the commission decided to take this decision in its best interest," Mr. Brumskine told reporters Wednesday.

He also accused the Morlu led GAC administration of not practicing good administrative practice before leaving the entity.

"Part of the reason why the commission took this decision is over-lapping of functions. Many of those who were affected by the dismissals are people who were engaged in over-lapping functions at the GAC," he alleged.

Prior to the commission's latest action, there were suspicions being raised amongst employees that the Kilby leadership was already preparing

to dismiss some GAC employees, especially those who had been employed by former Auditor General John Morlu. But Mr. Brumskine also rejected the claim.

"Another thing is that when the Kilby administration took over newly a review of the entire payroll system was conducted. After this exercise, we realized that 63 new employees were brought in by Mr. John, which, in my view, is not a good administrative practice," Brumskine said.

"We inherited 440 employees at the commission, while 55 persons are on scholarships in Kenya, China and the USA," he said, adding that the commission now has 155 auditors, 137 personnel in administration, 100 of which are trainees.

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