6 May 2013

Liberia: Govt Turns On Media Over Moore Stephens Audit Report

Photo: Greenpeace International
Logging destruction.

Liberian Government has turned on the media of Liberia on the merits and demerits of the latest Moore Stephens Audit Report sanctioned by Global Witness Report, alleging that the report was miss-quoted the Moore Stephens Audit Report.

Tough-talking Information Minister Lewis Brown did not take kindly the way the media lifted the story, noting that the issue of corruption and nepotism as reported in the media here was not mentioned at all in the report.

"The Moore Stephens audit report submitted to the Government of Liberia and currently in the possession of government is only asking national government for more information in connection to the institutions that are undergoing auditing," he said. At the ministry's regular press briefing last week, Minister Brown accentuated that the report was a mere draft, and as such it should not be viewed as law and gospel.

"The government through the Liberia Extractive Industry Transparency initiative (LEITI) negotiated with Moore Stephens along with a Liberian company to review the processes of contracts and license signed in the country," he said.

The Stephen Moore audit report on Liberia's mineral sector indicted the government on many counts.

However, Minister Brown said the intention of the audit is to review the transparency by looking back at the various awards and the processes that led to the signing of the contracts, as well as the use of expertise of the Moore Stephens Audit Firm to counsel the government by the end of the audit.

"Not just finding and recommending but, to show us the templates by which we will now go on in the future to award contracts and license," he noted.

Recently, a renowned International auditing firm, Moor Stephens sent in a draft audit report on contracts that were signed by the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in which according to the audit report US$8 billion worth of resource contracts signed by Liberia since 2009 have violated Liberia Laws.

According to the draft report, the violation of the Liberian Law has cast serious doubt on anti-draft and good governance effort under president Sirleaf led government and also indicted the government.

The audit covers four keys areas, namely agriculture, oil forestry, and mining.

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