Plenary- the highest decision-making body of the House of Representatives at the Legislature, on April 28, 2015, unanimously voted to mandate the General Auditing Commission or GAC and the Public Procurement and Concession Commission or(PPCC to conduct a financial and procurement audit of the Central Bank of Liberia or CBL.
The vote was taken shortly after a lengthy deliberation on a communication addressed to the House by Montserrado County District # 6 Representative Edwin Melvin Snowe, who told his colleagues that the CBL has over the last few months been engaged in providing financial assistance or loans outside of the National Budget through commercial banks.
Snowe’s communication noted that it was essential for members of the House of Representatives to ensure that the exercises implemented by the CBL are done within the confines of the law, emphasizing that the Bank must be audited to make sure that ‘public funds are not used for political motives or as way of buying future votes.’
“I write seeking the indulgence of Plenary to mandate the GAC and the PPCC to conduct a comprehensive financial and procurement audit of the CBL to enable us have an informed and predicated knowledge of its undertakings as per the law,” Representative Snowe’s communication indicated.
Unfortunately, mandating the GAC and PPCC to comprehensively conduct a financial and procurement audit of the CBL only exposes the House’s Plenary, regarding the very Act that created the Central Bank. This means, Members of the Honorable Body only pass laws without first reading and understanding them. Their recent decision is just a typical example of the selfish motive the House of Representatives may have.
Since they are yet to read and comprehend the very law with which the concurred with the Liberian Senate, the Honorable men and women of the House of Representatives must be made to understand now and hereafter that the act creating the Central Bank of Liberia does not allow it to be audited by the General Auditing Commission or what they think. Even the Legislature does not have the authority to demand or commission an audit of the Bank. Moreover, an audit of the CBL shall be done by reputable and professional external auditors appointed by its Board of Governors- that’s what the very Act they passed into law says.
Snowe’s assertion that: “as helpful as this could be to our citizens, it is however important to ensure that these activities are carried out within the confines of the law and statues and to make certain that public fund is not used for political motive or as a way to buying future votes” only exposes the primary motive of his request to Plenary, and some well schooled members of the House of Representatives to allow themselves to carried away by the Representative’s personal political objective as expressed by him in his communication, is unfortunate and unpatriotic.
While their (especially those who have failed to read the CBL Act) position in Plenary may be understood, it is better late than never; Plenary must rescind its decision because the Central Bank of Liberia cannot be audit by any local institution and not even on the order of the Legislature- it’s very clear, and let them read.