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Crime & PunishmentGeneralLiberia news

730 unrecognized employees on MoS payroll 

--Atty. Togba disclosed 

By Ethel A. Tweh

The names of over 730 unrecognized employees have been discovered on a supplementary payroll at the Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs, a presidential nominee has disclosed.

Deputy Minister of State for Presidential Affairs for Administration-designate, Atty. Cornelia Kruah Togba reported the figure following the conduct of an assessment.

Atty. Togba appeared at the Liberian Senate on Wednesday, 14 February 2024 for her confirmation hearing before the Committee on Executive chaired by Maryland County Senator James Biney.

The Deputy Minister for Administration-designate told the Senate Committee that the supplementary payroll was privately managed by the Ministries of Finance and Development Planning and State for Presidential Affairs under the former Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) government.

She explained that despite such a huge financial burden on the ministry, the institution also has 385 employees recognized by the Civil Service Agency as legitimate staff plus.

But she was blunt that the over 730 unrecognized employees had pushed the total staff to over 1,000.

She said the Senior Management Team of the Ministry of State is currently working with the Civil Service Agency (CSA) and the Governance Commission to do a total assessment of the institution.

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She said the plan is to ensure that staffers there work effectively and efficiently, and resources of the country are used.

“We are currently working with the CSA and the Governance Commission to do a total assessment of the ministry so that we ensure that we do not just have employees at the Ministry of State but people’s time, energy and the positions they serve in contribute to the overall efficiency of the ministry and the resources of Liberia are used effectively,” she added.

Due to the over 730 extra employees, Atty. Togba said the ministry spends over US$2.7 million annually only on salary.

She expressed the determination of the Senior Management Team to tackle those challenges upon her confirmation by the Liberian Senate. 

“We believe that once we address these issues at the ministry that hosts the seat of the presidency, it’s easy for other ministries to mirror similar patterns or similar administrative decisions that are taken by the ministry,” Atty. Togba said.

At the same time, Atty. Togba said that during their assessment, almost all the systems were apparently nonexistent or not working.

She cited the lack of a procurement arm of the ministry while there exists a procurement unit which has not worked over the last six years.

According to her, staffers at the ministry were individually doing their own procurements, while the institution also did not have an office space or a department responsible for the audit unit despite the presence of internal auditors. 

She said this made it impossible for transactions to be audited.

The Deputy Minister of State for Administration designate further revealed that assets of the Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs cannot be accounted for while the new management recently inherited a single vehicle. 

She termed the situation as a huge challenge with accountability and transparency.

“And as a DMA-designate of the Ministry of State, I can commit to you the Senate Executive Committee that we are committed to setting up a system that will just bring accountability back to the presidency of the Ministry of State,” she pledged.

She promised to ensure that those who are under the employ of the ministry are effective and efficient in leading the overall success of the Rescue Agenda.

As one of the ways of addressing some of the problems, Atty. Togba said rightsizing could be considered because the ministry is heavily overstaffed.

According to her, retaining a total of over 1,000 staff at a single government entity as the Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs in the absence of rightsizing would mean each staff would have to be placed in his or her specific position and do exactly according to that position.

Also speaking in the joint public confirmation hearing, the Minister of State Without Portfolio-designate at the Ministry of State, Mamaka Bility vowed to promote the agenda of President Joseph Nyumah Boakai.

Madam Bility bragged about her many years of experience working in the office of Amb. Boakai while he was Liberia’s Vice President for at least six years.

She said the job is not strange to her, and promised to keep the presidency effective for the Liberian people.

At the same time, the Minister of State Without Portfolio for Special Services-designate at the Ministry of State, Mr. Samuel A. Stevquoah said if confirmed, he will serve as a liaison between the President’s Office and the Liberian Senate for a collaborative working relationship.

He noted that he comes to the job with an extensive background in administration and management, having worked in the United States of America and further serving as Chief of Staff of former Vice President Boakai.

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  1. It is very, very astonishing so to speak that Liberians have not yet learned from our mistakes. Why must or why should individuals of trust and confidence be put in public places and carry on dubious acts always without thinking that there will be “no tomorrow” to exist? No tomorrow to come or exist, irresponsible acts, fear of God, lawlessness will always continue in Liberia? Well, the eyes of Liberians are vividly open than ever, have learned a lot and still have not changed yet. Why there must always be financial irregularities in the country. When this greed, using government funds illegally and many others barefaced corruptions will be done with? Lord have mercy!!!!

  2. Some of those ghost employees can be dugout from the comment sections of various newspapers including FPA, Observer, New Dawn, etc. They were assigned on those sites to counter and in very vile fashions, any criticisms of the CDC government. Some were even setup with sophisticated broadcast equipment as well, especially in the US and the diaspora at large for that purpose. McGill knows and can expound further on this.

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