14 December 2012

Liberia: Who Leaks GAC Audit Report?

The General Auditing Commission (GAC) appears to still being hunted by ethical challenges of the past, when audit reports were sent to the media before they reach the President or the Capitol for review and observation.

The GAC was completely surprised recently when one of its audit reports, not yet officially released to the public, surfaced in a local daily here.

Sources at the auditing house said this was one of the challenges inherited by the Robert Kilby Administration, which continues to impinge on the professional quality of the Commission's operations.

The audit report published in The News Newspaper on Monday, December 10, 2012 is said to have been prepared a year ago during the tenure of then Acting Auditor General Nyekan, prior to the appointment of Robert Kilby, who has come under a barrage of public criticisms for dismissing over 40 employees from the institution.

The General Auditing Commission itself has come under criticism for poor organizational and managerial lapses. An AFROSAI assessment conducted in November, noted that the Commission lacks robust system of planning and monitoring, including basic management information system.

According to the assessment, the GAC human resources policy was not properly implemented, and that training programs were not based on assessment competence gaps and training needs.

The European Union has been funding the GAC through its Long Term Technical Assistance. The project involves strengthening the Internal Methodologies of the Commission, which includes support to quality assurance, among others.

Quality Audit is goal five of the GAC strategic plan, which successful implementation should move the institution towards achieving its strategic objective 5.2 of ensuring consistency with international standards.

Kilby is currently in the United States, holding discussions with his counterpart, Gene L. Dodaro as part of series of international consultations with Auditor Generals around the world.

This followed his participation in an international conference in Washington DC, the United States under the auspices of the International Monetary Fund and the International Consortium on Governments Financial Management.

A release issued here by the General Auditing Commission, said the Liberian Auditor General is slated to meet with the Chief Financial Officer of the District of Columbia, Mr. Natwar M. Ghandi today Friday, December 14, 2012.

The conference focused on the INTOLSA standards and framework, E-Government and Public Sector Accounting Standards aimed at eventually changing from manual system to technology aspect of auditing.

Prior to going to the United States, AG Kilby attended the graduation ceremony of 30 Liberians from the University of Nairobi. The students were sponsored by the General Auditing Commission of Liberia to pursue advanced studies in various auditing disciplines.

According to the GAC, the students are expected home on 22 December 2012.

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