12 June 2017

Liberia: James Kollie Reacts to Audit Report

Photo: FrontPage Africa
James Kollie, former deputy ministry of finance.

Liberia Maritime Authority Commissioner (LMA) Dr. James Kollie has reacted to the recent Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI) audit report at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning conducted by the Internal Audit Agency (IAA).

"My attention is being drawn to an ongoing audit of the Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI) over which I provided general supervision when I served as Deputy Minister of Finance. I am grateful to the President for affording me the opportunity to respond fully to the claims, assertions and accusations made in the draft audit report," he said in a statement.

Dr. Kollie said, though he was the subject of the audit, but contrary to best practice, and until only a few days ago, he was never notified or interviewed by the auditors, noting that his first encounter with the auditors was on June 2, 2017, a day after the draft report was issued.

The LMA boss said considering the political charged environment in Liberia, it is easier to pass public judgments before hearing all the facts, and or muddle what ought to be important professional engagements with political motivations, saying "I fully understand that this is the country in which we live and these are ongoing consequences of a life in public service."

According to Dr. Kollie, he served the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning with dedication and professionalism, and conducted businesses there within the boundaries of the law and acceptable best practices.

To this, the LMA boss said he intends to cooperate fully and to assist in satisfying the ongoing audit.

He reconfirmed his continued commitment to financial probity and high standards of accountability in the country.

Dr. Kollie: "Without trying to further prejudice the draft audit report, I want to refrain from addressing specific claims or accusations made in the report at this time, and once again, assure Madam President and the entire country that I will fully cooperate with the audit and ensuing investigations for I am confident that I did nothing wrong.As requested, I am returning to the country immediately.

Concluding, he said difficult as it may be, "I urge all to keep an opened mind as we deal with this draft audit report which was leaked with obvious sinister motives and prejudicial intentions."

Recently, the Internal Audit Agency conducting an audit into the Private Sector Development Initiative operations at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning accused past and current officials at the ministry of awarding loans to themselves.

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