16 November 2012

Liberia: Auditor General Fails to Submit Documents

Auditor General Robert Kilby has failed to appear before the Senate Committee on Public Accounts and Audits Thursday where he was expected to submit documents that justify his decision to redundant more than 40 employees of the General Auditing Commission (GAC).

AG Kilby was scheduled to face the senators for the second time after he earlier provided what appeared to be contradictions on his decision to lay the workers off.

As reporters and members of the public waited for the appearance of the Auditor General to present documents requested by the committee, a communication from AG Kilby was sent to that august body indicating that all necessary documents in support of his action were incomplete and requested additional time.

He told the committee in his letter that additional time would allow him compile information and subsequently submit it before his appearance next Tuesday, November 20. 2012. The committee wasted no time to approve the request by the Auditor General.

In a brief statement, the Chairman of the Committee on Public Accounts and Audits, Grand Cape Mount County Senator Edward Dagoseh said the committee endorsed the Auditor General's communication and disclosed the hearing has been postponed.

Initially, the Auditor General told the public that the Commission is faced with financial constraints for which he took the action to redundant the employees.

During his appearance Tuesday, AG Kilby told the Committee that he instituted the dismissals to de-politicize the GAC, emphasizing that there is inadequate space to accommodate all of the employees.

In his statement to the Senate committee, AG Kilby further explained that audit reports he reviewed following his ascendancy to the post indicated that affected employees were incompetent; and therefore, could not be transferred to other departments.

On claims that the GAC is faced with financial constraints, some of the dismissed employees refuted his argument on grounds that the commission currently has US$7 million in its budget as compared to US$4 million last year.

G Kilby: "I want to set standards that will reflect efficiency; and based upon my observation, I deemed it expedient to scrutinize employees as a way of reflecting credibility and my decision was not to witch-hunt, but a process that will bring pride to the GAC like other international auditing institutions".

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