The NEWS (Monrovia)

19 February 2013

Liberia: We Call for Audit of the County Development Fund

editorial

The Verbal War between Montserrado County Superintendent Grace Kpan and District #16 Representative Edward Forh have degenerated into a serious feud with both pointing accusing fingers at each other over claims and counter claims of the "mismanagement " of Montserado County Development Fund (CDF).

The Two Officials are engaged in a ferocious fight over the control of the CDF, as Superintendent Kpan has threatened to expose Representative Forh (by producing an audio recording in which the lawmaker is said to have suggested to Superintendent Kpan that: "The money in question must be divided among us; you eat some, I eat some, and the minister eats some." Long Before

The dispute intensified, Montserrado County lawmakers have accused Superintendent Kpan of opening an extra account at Ecobank with US$487,000 without the approval of the Legislative Caucus and the Project Management Committee (PMC). They also queried the Superintendent for the unilateral dismissal of the Project Management Committee Chairman, Patrick Moore. Moreover, the lawmakers alleged that Superintendent Kpan has been disrespectful to them; citing her refusal to explain how the county's budget is being expended since 2010.

Truthfully, Mrs. Kpan admitted opening an extra account at Ecobank and the dismissal of the PMC Chairman. Upon Superintendent Kpan's admittance, the House of Representatives, without delay, ordered her to open one account for the county, reinstate the PMC Chairman, settle the payments of lawmakers' scholarships in the county and restitute the US$50.000 withdrawn from the County's Forest Account.

The War Of words between Rep. Forh and Superintendent Kpan is not necessary for individuals of their class and status to engage in such verbosity within the public domain.

We Call On the Speaker of the House of Representatives to intervene in the matter with the clear understanding of ensuring that funds allotted under the county development funds are scrupulously managed and implemented for the people of Montserrado County.

Funds appropriated in the national budget for the CDF are not meant for chopping, but that social infrastructures and other projects are undertaken to directly impact the lives of the people positively. Representative Forh And other lawmakers of Montserrado County appear to be intimidating the Superintendent with repeated summons and threats. Mrs. Kpan has admitted she opened an extra account and the dismissal of the PMC Chairman.

However, if the lawmakers have any suggestion or proposal in which they want portion of the CDF to be spent, their proposal should consider the interest of the people and not a personal agenda as it appears to be. Since the ushering of the New Year, the number of corruption stories has increased, especially within public institutions.

These negative reports are bad reflections of our country in the full glare of Liberia's international partners.

Hence, We Want the Speaker of the House to mandate the General Auditing Commission (GAC) to conduct a comprehensive audit of all the county development funds in order to determine whether monies budgeted for the county are being used for the intended purpose.

We Hope Our request will not fall on deaf ears because doing so will give enough grounds for corruption to continue with impunity.

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