12 May 2014

Liberia: Inside Kilby's GAC - Auditor General Turns Author, Dark Side

Monrovia — One of the controversial Auditor Generals in Liberia's history who was sacked for the same vices he was appointed to uncover seems willing to put up a fight with President Ellen Jonson Sirleaf and other officials of the government, including Senate Pro Temp Gbehzongar Findley as he prepares to publish what he termed a book he has written.

In Kilby's book, the former Auditor General has several subtitles which indicate that he has a lot to disclose but the question lingering is the character of the individual who is trying to throw dirt on the character of others.

The book entitled "Amidst institutionalized corruption and nepotism in the Government of Liberia, President Ellen Johnson dismisses two auditors general in three years without due process of law", Kilby has other subtitles, including: "The audacity to cite "conflict of interest" as her reason for my dismissal" and another "The Dark side of a Nobel peace prize winner", amongst others.

Kilby is announced that he will launch his new book beginning with a press conference in the Washington, the United States of America. It began and ended controversially. On September 3, 2012, Robert Llewellyn Kilby was handed the reign of the General Auditing Commission (GAC). The Liberian Senate needed two trials to confirm the Auditor-General.

The first attempt was botched by accusations of the falsification of academic documents. The second was concluded with lightning speed. Just as fast, on July 8, 2013, Kilby was dismissed. The occupant of an important office in the fight against corruption was axed for corruption.

Ten months of Kilby's controversial leadership of the GAC was ended by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, with the consent of the Senate, on account of Kilby's alleged "conflict of interest" in which he was accused of failing to disclose private interests in a firm which was doing business with the General Services Agency (GSA), which was up for audit by the GAC. Pearine Davis-Parkinson, Director-General of the GSA was also sacked by the President.

For the better part of ten months, Robert Kilby provided fodder for the Liberian Press. He single-handedly - some will argue deservingly - owned the disparaging headlines of many local dailies and electronic news services.

A local radio station even started a countdown to Kilby's first completed audit. The radio station lost count because Auditor General Kilby did not complete a single audit during his time at the GAC. He will be remembered, or forgotten, for having signed no audit report of any agency or program of the Government of Liberia because quite simply, he completed none.

But as a lengthy FPA investigation has discovered, Kilby busied himself signing onto and supervising a number of shady financial and operational transactions which simply defied his broad mandate of assisting the government's fight against corruption through a more efficient and effective General Auditing Commission.

Kilby began with a careful reordering of the authorities at the GAC. He laid off 42 employees, including the Comptroller and the Head of Procurement, and instructed Bill Kruah and Cornelius Waymah, the new replacements, to take instructions from and report only to him. The position of Deputy Auditor General for Administration became effectively redundant. This ensured that everything ran from Kilby's office.

Bill Kruah, Kilby's Comptroller resigned after Kilby was dismissed and Cornelius Waymah, Kilby's Director of Procurement has a For Sale sign on his vehicle fueling suspicions that he may be preparing to return to the United States from whence he was hired.

With his buddies in place, Kilby began the disposal of the assets of the GAC. The established procedure is that an Asset Disposal Committee of the disposal agency be formed, and that the process be carried out through competitive bidding. Our investigation and documents in the possession of this paper show that these procedures were not followed.

Kilby's long-time friend and driver, Ebenezer Dunn purchased the 2006 Land Cruiser Jeep previously used by former AG Morlu for USD800. The vehicle was repainted and used by Robert Kilby as a private vehicle. Other disposals of GAC vehicles went to Cornelius Waymah, Kilby-appointed Procurement Director, Cornelia Greene, Kilby's Executive Assistant, and Stamford Dennis, Kilby's Maintenance Manager, amongst others.

Although he earned a salary of Fifteen Thousand United States Dollars, Kilby instructed and directed the purchase of an electric stove, 2 flat-screen televisions, 1 DSTV set, a laptop and 2 generators for use in his home. Greene, Kilby's Executive Assistant even received One Thousand United States Dollars for the purchase of Mr. Kilby's two I-Phones which he still uses.

Documents in the possession of FPA also confirm that Auditor General Kilby hired the Elite Security Guard Service for to protect him for a period of one year for US$105,300.

Five payments of the GAC totaling US$24,948 were ordered paid to the Elite Security Guard Services between October 2012 and the end of January 2013, for protecting Mr. Robert Kilby, before the contract with the Security firm was terminated. Five of the guards were brought onto the GAC payroll to continue their services for the AG when the contract was terminated.

AG Kilby had promised to infuse the GAC and the audit process with advance technology. SPARC Technology was brought into contract with the GAC to drive the GAC's technological transformation.

FPA investigation revealed that SPARC Technology, said to be based in India, lists a Liberian number as means of contact. Despite repeated attempts, no one has answered repeated calls to this number. Nor has any calls been returned.

FPA has also unearthed that SPARC Technology was incorporated by Mr. Randolph (Randy) Davis, Kilby's Chief of Office Staff and Director of Engagement Management.

Five payments amounting to US$45,000 were spliced below the PPCC threshold of US$10,000, which would have otherwise triggered a competitive bidding process, and paid to SPARC Technology between May and June of 2013, for the development of the GAC website which is registered in the name of Robert Kilby, and the Management Engagement System, for which Randy Davis double over as Director.

Four of the five payments were made on the 15th, 17th, 21stand 24th of May in the amounts of US$8,750; 9,800; 9,100; and 8,250. The June 5 payment to SPARC Technology was in the amount of US$9,600.

Documents in the possession of FPA also show payments to Kilby's staff of US$12,200 for "goods and services". Kilby-appointed Comptroller Kruah indicated that the payments were for "media-related services" and based on verbal directives from AG Kilby.

FPA has learned that this is a violation of Rule 23 of the Financial Rule, which demands that all payments for goods and services be made only to vendors and not to third parties. As Auditor General of the Republic of Liberia, it was the job of Robert Kilby to ensure compliance with this financial rule across the government.

FPA investigation also found out that in June of 2013, AG Kilby hired 29 persons bringing to 78 the total number of persons hired at the GAC under Mr. Kilby after he had earlier laid-off 42. A review of the GAC payroll left by Kilby also revealed that his recruited and appointed directors are costing the GAC about US$600,000 annually.

Financial analysts tell FPA that this has led to a current payroll deficit of over US$200,000 which the GAC is unable to service. The Ministry of Finance is currently negotiating with the GAC as to how this deficit can be settled if the GAC employees, who include at least 24 securities are to be paid for the month of June.

Apparently suspicious of the stated competencies of many of these "friends and buddies" of Kilby, the GAC has announced that all concerned individuals make their social security numbers available to the Human Resource Department for background checks.

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