New Democrat (Monrovia)

12 December 2012

Liberia: GAC Wants FDA Boss Out

The Genera Auditing Commission (GAC) has recommended the dismissal of Managing Director of the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) Mr. Moses D. Wogbeh for issuing Private Use Permit (PUP) without the concessionary companies meeting requirement for the issuance.

In its report ranging from 2006 to 2012, GAC also recommended to President Sirleaf that the Board Chairperson of the FDA, Agriculture Minister Florence Chenoweth be censured for her failure to provide effective corporate governance over the FDA.

"The Managing Director of the FDA Mr. Moses D. Wogbeh be dismissed for his failure to undertake annually audit and put in place an effective monitoring mechanism to govern PUP licenses issue, the FDA Board be dissolved and reconstituted for its failure to provide an effective oversight over the management of the forest resources of Liberia.

The illegal transfer of the PUPs to concessionaries could be a means being used by concessionaries to exponentially expand their operations and illegally gain access to the forest resources of Liberia to the detriment of the Liberian people, the GAC said.

"Issuing PUP without standard regulations for qualification could lead to abuse of PUPs, as unscrupulous individuals or companies could utilize the lapses to exploit forest resources to the detriment of the people of Liberia, thereby causing environmental and financial loss to the communities and the Government of Liberia" the GAC report signed by Deputy Auditor General Winsley Nanka, said.

The lack of standard regulations to govern the issuance of PUPs could create unfettered opportunities to FDA Board/Management to grant PUPs to unscrupulous individual and /or imposters.

The failure of FDA to formulate regulations for the granting of PUPs might have led to an easy transfer of PUPs to concessionaries without the notice of FDA, the GAC added.

GAC also added that The FDA also failed as a requirement in Section 3.4 (a) of the 2006 Forest Reform Act, to conduct an annual audit of the activities occurring, pursuant to each Forest Management Contract, Timber Sale Contract, single Forest Use Permit (PUP) and Private Use Permit, specifically on PUPs to ensure that holder is in compliance with this Las, its regulations, and the terms of the license.

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