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Crime & PunishmentGeneralLiberia news

Civil Services Boss calls for reforms

The Civil Service Agency here concedes excesses, including fraudulent payments, ghost employees, and widespread discrepancies, as captured in a latest audit by the General Auditing Commission.   

By Kruah Thompson

Monrovia, Liberia. April 1, 2024—The latest audit report by the General Auditing Commission (GAC) published on its website unveils troubling findings for the Civil Service Agency (CSA), prompting its Director-General, Josiah F. Joekai, Jr., to announce a comprehensive overhaul aimed at enhancing transparency and productivity within the Agency.

Key findings of the GAC audits include instances of fraudulent payments made to individuals for services not rendered and payments to ghost employees, which resulted in significant financial losses due to fraud and mismanagement of funds.

The findings also captured violations of established regulations, such as paying full salaries to employees on study leave and unauthorized absences, highlighting serious flaws in payroll management. 

Making the disclosure in Monrovia over the weekend, Director-General Joekai emphasized that while going through the report, he discovered discrepancies in consultant contracts and documentation, indicating a lack of proper control and accountability by the Weah administration.

According to him, the former administration spent a staggering US$6.1 million in the last fiscal year alone on consulting services. This astronomically high expenditure did not reflect the quality of consultancy provided, which, he noted, undermines the integrity and efficiency of the civil service.

“Taking the CSA as a case study, we reviewed the folders of 18 consultants selected, employed, and remunerated; I found the following: 

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• None of the 18 consultants received a contract until nine months into the so-called annual engagement;

• Of the 18 consultants, 8 did not have a valid contract in their folders

• Only 12 consultants participated in a headcount exercise. The remaining six have not shown up to date and are still unaccounted for despite receiving payments. In short, they’re ghosts, and

• No reports for services provided, no performance appraisal reports, no timesheets, and no Terms of Reference (ToR)”, he explained. 

He emphasized the urgent need for comprehensive reforms to rectify these egregious discrepancies and prevent further misuse of public funds. He added, “Such reforms are imperative to restore our civil service’s efficiency, responsiveness, and integrity, thereby ensuring accountability and transparency.” Editing by Jonathan Browne

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One Comment

  1. The information in your online papers were very useful to me. Thanks for the good journalism.

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