17 July 2017

Liberia: Audit Indictees Cleared?

A member of the House of Representatives has accused the Special Presidential Taskforce of assuming the authority unto itself to clear individuals and institutions indicted in the General Auditing Commission audit report.

The task force is headed by former Liberty Party Chairman, Cllr. Jonathan Fonati Koffa.

Representative Clarence Massaquoi claimed that the House's committee on Public Account and Expenditure (PAC) conducted public hearings on several audit reports from the General Auditing Commission (GAC) and forwarded its report to the President for action, but some of those persons who were indicted have been unilaterally cleared by the task force.

"It is our understanding that the President forwarded these reports to the taskforce to advise her. The taskforce in its initial publication, released a list of people and firms and asked those concern to pay amounts as indicated by the PAC recommendation within thirty days (October 17-November 17, 2016)," Representative Massaquoi said.

Rep. Massaquoi told plenary in a communication that the Taskforce in its second publication released a list of people it had cleared from the audit reports without reference to the Legislature and the GAC.

A document released by Rep. Massaquoi named some of the indicted individuals cleared by the taskforce as P. Momo Sesay, who stands accused of spending US$1, 075, 00 without adequate supporting documents and Mr. Edwin Borbor of the Ministry of Gender, who is indicted in the GAC's 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 reports for executing a third party of US$177,683.80 without document.

Others are Mrs. Jestina Kolle of the Ministry of Gender, indicted in the GAC's 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009, for using US$12,639.75 donor funds without any supporting document.

Rep Massaquoi said what is more troubling is the clearing of people from audit reports that were not acted upon by the joint Legislative Public Accounts Committee.

He believes that the alleged action of the Special Presidential Taskforce is a gross affront to the Legislature, and an act to undermine the fight against corruption.

Massaquoi had wished that Plenary invite Cllr. Fonati Koffa to explain why he unilateral cleared people indicted in the audit reports, but plenary voted to inform President Johnson-Sirleaf, who the reports were initially submitted to for action.

Plenary has therefore instructed the Chief Clarke of the House of Representatives to communicate with the President, asking her to brief the Legislature on the status of the GAC's audit reports submitted to her office.

Liberia

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