New Democrat (Monrovia)

16 November 2012

Liberia: Embattled AG Wants More Time

The embattled Auditing General of the General Auditing Commission (GAC) has asked the Public Account Committee of the Senate investigating him for dismissing at least 42 employees for more time to prepare for the inquest.

Mr. Robert Kilby should have appeared before the committee with a payroll analysis and other documents the committee asked him about concerning the GAC.

In his 14 November 2012 letter to the Committee, Mr. Kilby said: "I am respectfully asking your permission for an extension to Tuesday, November 20, 2012 to allow my team ample time to complete the budgetary and payroll analysis and compile the document you have requested.

Mr. Kilby has come under intense pressure for the dismissal of the employees claiming their presence was bringing economic burden to the GAC.

But the aggrieved employees have refuted his claims and instead of accusing him of witch hunting those employed by former AG John Morlu.

In their petition, the dismissed workers accused Mr. Kilby of using the institution's money to purchase a cell phone that cost US$1,243.28 for his wife.

They also alleged that a bogus audit contract valued at US$27,000 was entered into with Parker and Associates in contravention of the Public Procurement and Concession law.

The dismissed employees lamented that Parker and Associates did not meet the bidder's qualification criteria as required by section 32 of the PPC act.

They further accused AG Kilby of granting a contract valued US$105,300 to V.I.P. Security guard to manage his personal security although there is no budget line supporting such action in fiscal 2012/2013 budget.

According to the aggrieved workers, Mr. Kilby recently acquired a vehicle costing US$56,000 at the expense of the meager resources of the institution in the face of "budgetary constraints" as asserted by him.

Speaking on the payroll and budget constraints as claimed by Mr. Kilby as his prime reason for dismissing 42 GAC employees, the group's spokesperson said the Auditor General is in error.

"For instance, the existing director of Revenue Audit Randolph Davis, who is brother to Margibi County Senator Claris Jah, is being paid US$5,000. And Rev. Sylvester Orlando Jah, husband to Senator Jah, is being paid US$2,600, wages are more than those before them".

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