The Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA) says it does not wish to get into a public spat (with neither the General Auditing Commission (GAC) nor with that segment of the Liberian media that is sensation-prone) over the manner in which the GAC Audit Observations on the latest GAC audit of the LTA have been "mischaracterized and publicized".
In a press statement issued in Monrovia on Monday, August 26, 2013, the LTA stated that it takes exception to the nature of the GAC press statement on the LTA, which is "conspicuously bereft of the LTA's legitimate responses to the findings and observations of the GAC"--LTA responses which provide the background and the context of the findings.
The LTA equally said it takes exception to, and even detests, the usual sensationalized headlines given said GAC press statement, some of which, as is now characteristic of certain media entities, do not jive with the stories so banner-headlined.
For example, the Women Voices newspaper writes: "LPRC, LTA Corrupt--GAC Audit Reveals", while the New Dawn (ND) picks on the LTA in particular and splashes the banner headline: "LTA Plays in Millions."
In the case of the Women Voices (WV), the LTA would appreciate if WV newspaper can point out specifically, which observation/finding in the GAC report on LTA is defined as "Corrupt", except of course if WV has its own unique definition of the word "Corrupt." Similarly, the LTA is amazed by the insinuation reflected in the ND to the effect that the LTA has been playing in "Millions"--as if expenditures so referred to were spent on individuals rather than on the operations of the entity.
"Indeed, by simply stating that various Managements at varying times undertook expenditures in support of the regulatory entity during the audit report period without approved budgets does not substantially imply that fraud nor a corrupt act was done," the Commission clarifies.
Accordingly, the LTA wishes to make it clear that the said GAC audit of the LTA did not discover one iota of fraud or any "Corrupt" activity at the LTA during the audited period.
"Taking into its totality the Report basically reveals procedural and internal control lapses, to which the LTA responded with appropriate and contextual explanations -- but which unfortunately, the newspapers concerned did not find it necessary and professional to highlight in their stories. A typical case of cherry picking!"
Given these misrepresentations about the LTA, and in order to properly contextualize the GAC report on the LTA, especially in regard to expenditures made by the entity's various managements during the audited period purportedly "without authorization," the LTA wishes to now publish its Responses it provided the GAC on the key findings/observations in said audit Report. See pages 6&7 for detail.