18 March 2014

Liberia: Report - Mass Redundancy Imminent At GAC Again

The Independent Authoritative Heritage has gathered credible report that a mass redundancy will take place shortly at the General Auditing Commission (GAC).

The GAC, which is regarded as the independent Supreme Auditing Institution (SAI) of Liberia, the chief watchdog, the defender and promoter of the Liberian people's interest, is situated on Ashmun Street, Monrovia.

According to the report obtained from a well-placed source within officialdom, the workforce of the GAC, as part of the planned redundancy, would be reduced by 50%.

This report comes in the wake of a nation-wide pronouncement by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf that she looks forward to a reorganized and re-energized GAC that is media shy and committed to a good governance process which ensures the highest level of integrity and a commitment to uphold the public trust. President Johnson-Sirleaf made the pronouncement during her annual message in January.

Some political observers say report of the planned redundancy at the GAC could be as a result of the President's pronouncement. But this has not been independent verified by this paper. Consequently, the report divulged: " Currently, there are dozens of directors at the GAC. Some of them include: Director of State Enterprise, Director of IT Operations and Director of Communications. Following the expected redundancy, the GAC will have only four directors."

The report further divulged: " Most of the titles of managers will be reduced to supervisors. Moreover, there would be cut in salaries due to the current disparity in the salary structures, meaning readjustment in salaries."

At the same time, the report has hinted that about 50 staff of the Commission had resigned.

"Some of those GAC staff, who resigned, sought employment with key banking institutions, Finance Ministry, Internal Audit Secretariat (IAS) among others," the report accentuated.

The report cites poor working condition among others as reason for their resignation.

" Those who resigned are people the Commission spent money for them to acquire their Master Degrees out of the country. But they were constrained to seek employment else for better wages and improved working conditions," the report among other things added.

Meanwhile, if the "planned redundancy" at the GAC takes place, it will be the second in recent past at the Commission.

It could be recalled that when sacked Auditor General Robert Kilby took over the GAC, he carried out mass redundancy, something that triggered hullabaloo not only at the Commission, but also in the public. There were calls by the public for him to reinstate the redundant GAC employees, but the calls felt on deaf ears.

Most of those redundant, according to reports, were perceived to be supporters of his predecessor-Mr. John S. Morlu, II.

Mr. Morlu, who was considered as a fearless auditor general, departed the post after his tenure expired.

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