JNB May Use GAC For All Audits -Cost, timing and efficiency cited

MONROVIA: While it was his initial decision to invite renowned foreign firms to conduct audit on the past government of former President George Manneh Weah, a lot of combinations of circumstances may have overtaken what President Joseph Nyuma Boakai had in mind initially as it is now appearing clearer that the President will be making full use of the General Auditing Commission(GAC) mainly predicated on reasons of cost, timing and efficiency to achieve results as well as intentional desire to empower and strengthen integrity institutions in the country

According to our impeccable sources close to the Presidency, the new direction to use the General Auditing Commission(GAC)  came about after series of consultation among his key advisors, party executives and to some extent inputs from some of Liberia’s international development partners and “reasons weighed heavily on the comparative analysis of making use of GAC against foreign firms, timing of the audit, understanding of the terrain, the effectiveness and efficiency of the firms to be hired, among others”

Our sources said the issue of auditing the past government remains paramount on the wish list of President Boakai and there was no turning back on the promise he made to the Liberian people that he intends to end the culture of impunity and corruption in the country and the way to start is through ensuring that the culture of accountability and transparency is planted in the country”

“The President met his team last week to deliberate on how his plan to audit the past regime can be actualized. Every option was placed on the table including their pluses and minuses. The realistic option was to use the GAC and there are several reasons, among them being the cost; it will be cheaper to do a thorough audit and get the desired results.

“We are talking about the timing as well. The government does not intend to keep waiting for long with this audit before it loses enthusiasm and kills the entire spirit behind the essence of the audit”, the insider said.

The source said one of the key reasons which informed the decision to use the GAC instead of the international or any local firm was the insistence of President Boakai to empower and strengthen integrity institutions of government to do their works for which they were created by law and “it does not make sense to spend money on something that was created by law for the benefit of the people”.

He said the government will build confidence in the people with the view of making the people trust public institutions such as the GAC that have professionally trained workforce through the taxes of the government and “it was prudent enough that these people should be used”.

The lack of funds to support the cost of hiring foreign firms due to the poor state of the economy inherited by President Boakai from the past regime also contributed to why the government has decided to utilize the services of

As a demonstration of the resolve of the government to use the GAC, President Boakai this week ordered the GAC to audit three government institutions, the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), the Executive Protection Services(EPS) and the National Security Agency(NSA) and make the outcome available to his office within 3 months from the date the mandate was issued.

Speaking to The Analyst in an exclusive interview from Dakar, Senegal where he is presently attending an international conference, the President of the Liberia Institute of Chartered Public Accountants (LICPA), Mr. Victor SBK Tanwone who has been a proponent for local firms to be hired instead of their foreign counterparts said the decision of the government to use the services of GAC was in the right direction.

“The GAC is the Supreme Audit Institution (SAI) of Liberia. Like many other countries, the SAI is an independent external auditor of government spending institutions. It is internationally accepted as Best Practice. It is acceptable”, Tanwone said.

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