14 July 2013

Liberia: Oil Company Boss On the Hotseat, Entangled in U.S.$731K Dupont Deal

Photo: Chevron
An offshore oil rig.

Monrovia — A week after President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf dismissed Mr. Robert Kilby, the head of the General Auditing Commission (GAC) and Pearine Davis Parkinson, Director General of the General Services Agency for breaching government policy regarding Conflict of Interest, Dr. Randolph McClain, Chief Executive Officer of the National Oil Company of Liberia has reportedly been found in breach of the law.

ARTICLE 90 of the constitution states: a) "No person, whether elected or appointed to any public office, shall engage in any other activity which shall be against public policy, or constitute conflict of interest. b) No person holding public office shall demand and receive any other perquisites, emoluments or benefits, directly or indirectly, on account of any duty required by Government; c) The Legislature shall, in pursuance of the above provision, prescribe a Code of Conduct for all public officials and employees, stipulating the acts which constitute conflict of interest or are against public policy, and the penalties for violation thereof."

Last Monday, President Sirleaf, after reviewing documentary evidence, formally requested the concurrence of the Honorable Legislature to dismiss Kilby, for failure to disclose private business activities that represent a clear conflict of interest with his official duties as Head of the institution with prime responsibility to investigate and advise on non-compliance with our public financial management and procurement laws.

"I am communicating to the Legislature the causes for this dismissal," the President stated.

In the same vein, Sirleaf dismissed Parkinson, the Director General of the General Services Agency, for approving contracts in violation of Liberia's procurement laws and procedures.

Documents in possession of FrontPageAfrica suggests that Dr. McClain without notifying the NOCAL board unilaterally single sourced a US$731,100 contract to the American firm, Dupont, his former U.S. employer of more than 20 years without an approval from the Public Procurement Concessions Commission.

More troubling, the contract in question was out of Dupont's area of expertise and one not one NOCAL was in need of urgently.

The debacle is fuelling comparison to the Kilby-Parkinson scenario with some wondering whether the same fate will before Dr. McClain.

During an appearance before the ongoing budget hearing, Parkinson without preempting the repercussions of her disclosure, revealed to the Ways, Means and Finance Committee that her entity, the (GSA) signed and entered into a contact with an accountancy firm owned by Kilby to carry out Asset and Fleet management, Tracking and reporting system at the GSA.

The contract, a copy of which is in the possession of FrontPageAfrica's was made and entered into on December 3, 2012 by the between the GSA and Kilby's Independent Software Certification Company just three months after he took over as head of the GAC. Kilby's company expressed its desire to enter into a contract for the construction of an asset and fleet management, Tracking and reporting system for the GSA according to the contract setting its own module operandi.

"The contractor convenient that it has the requisite training, expertise, and technical competence in the trade and performed similar working both Liberia and the United States of America, that is to customize the development of a software that will automate the owner's asset and fleet tracking and reporting system for the GSA into consideration, strategic national security interest," states the agreement between the company and the GSA.

The contract also states that Kilby's Firm was to receive the amount of two hundred and twenty thousand United States dollar (USD$ 220,000) which would be based on the scope of work as indicated in the proposal.

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