A process to ensure that government entities account for public funds given them for the benefit of Liberians has begin as the Legislature joint committee on public account finally begin public hearing on GAC audit report committed by them.
The Liberia National Legislature joint committee on public accounts Wednesday held its first public hearing on audit reports submitted by the General Auditing Commission (GAC) on the Roberts International Airport.
The GAC among several things accused the former RIA management of expending over thirty five thousand United States dollars (USD$35,000.00) to purchase a vehicle for Julia Dennis then RIA general manager from a British company only described as JMTC limited a vehicle that was never brought to the country.
They GAC said the RIA management failed to live up to the Public procurement and Concession Commission requirement by unilaterally paying over USD$25,000.00 above the PPCC regulation for a vehicle that was never bought.
According to acting Auditor General Wincey Nanka the management of the RIA during the auditing process failed to provide financial statement to the GAC to establish statement for 2005 to provide accurate and reliant balances which led to the limitation of the GAC to determine the RIA open balances for 2006.
"Biding documents, contracts, Land Dees and account payable legers were not provided this made it impossible to ensure the regularity of the procurement activities," Nanka said.
He also accused the RIA of not providing any document at the time which could cause the AG to change his position noting that the audit is a tax payer audit and the report is a public document and that all findings in the report were formally communicated to the chairman of the board of directors and the Managing director for their responses through a draft management letter.
Responding to the GAC at the public hearing Mr. Robert Morris deputy RIA manager for administration said, though he was not at the Entity during the period in question promised to answer to concerns raised by the GAC.
The RIA team representing the management at the hearing said, the RIA management promised to waive over one hundred thousand United States dollars out of two hundred and nineteen thousands owed them by COMIUM Liberia that they have been requested to be restituted by the GAC.
Zachariah Nyawo the RIA comptroller at the time also told members of the committee that the GAC report on irregular Transaction which states that the board of directors of the GAC shows that COMIUM owed the RIA over hundred and twenty thousand dollars and that they also discovered the difference of US$ 39,000.00 is untrue.
He also alluded to the fact that the RIA at the time paid over US$35, 000.00 through what he said, is a legal means for a vehicle for the RIA General Manager Julius Dennis but did not received the vehicle as their clients absconded with the money.
Asked why the RIA management did not go after the individual or entity that absconded with the money he said, because the amount that was request by the legal council was more than what was spent for the expected vehicle which led to their reluctance to pursue the case.
Asked by the committee if he see wrong doing in the transaction he said; "there was proper arrangement done we got the spare of the vehicle a month before that money was transferred and we had a GEMAP team that review the process , validated it and satisfied it."
The RIA comptroller also denied claims by the GAC that the RIA failed to respond to a management letter given the entity by the GAC.
After over two hours of question and answer the RIA team was requested to go back and return next week with all relevant documents that for needed for the case.