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GeneralLiberia news

CSA audit reports show troubling spending

Based on audit reports, the CSA said several unverified individuals have been blocked from the government payroll, and headcount is ongoing at other government entities.

By Kruah Thompson 

Monrovia, May 23, 2024: The Civil Service Agency (CSA) ‘s payroll compliance audit has unveiled a troubling trend at various government spending entities in Liberia. 

Based on thorough data collection, the audit report exposes 6,815 unverified individuals on the government payroll, with 122 individuals sharing bank account numbers and mobile money payments.

CSA Director General Josiah Joekai disclosed the report’s findings at a special press briefing held at the Ministry of Information on Wednesday, 22 May 2024, in Monrovia.

In response to the report, Director Joekai said they have blocked 10 unverified individuals at the Ministry of State and Presidential Affairs and 28 unverified individuals from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

He said they blocked 14 from the CSA and 24 illegitimate individuals (12 unverified and 12 ghosts) from the National Center for Coordination and Response Mechanism. 

The reports for the Ministry of Mines and Energy and the Liberian Institute for Public Administration are still being finalized.

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However, Director Joekai indicated an ongoing headcount at the Ministry of Public Works, Liberia Land Authority, Ministry of Health, and Liberia Institute for Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS).

He also said that the headcount is ongoing at the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs, and Tourism, the Liberia Broadcasting System, the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Agriculture, among others.

In another development, Mr. Joekai said the CSA and ECOBANK Liberia have launched a 50% salary advance scheme for civil servants.

“Civil servants can now take up to 50% of their salary and pay it back in 30 days and will repay with the lowest 3% interest,” he disclosed.

For additional banks to launch the salary advance program for civil servants, Mr. Joekai stated that they have also reached an agreement with the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI), the United Bank for Africa (UBA), the International Bank (IB) Limited, the Guaranty Trust (GT) Bank, and the AfriLand Bank.

He said civil servants who have salary accounts with these banks will soon benefit from the 50% salary advance scheme.

Additionally, the CSA boss noted that the agency is developing a credential and integrity audit and background checks policy manual to ensure the operational efficiency of the 103 spending entities.

This will also ensure risk mitigation and discourage credential falsification and discrepancies associated with employment.

“This will also help adherence to legal regulatory and compliance mechanisms, fostering accountability and transparency in the employment process, standardization of credential audits and background checks across the 103 spending entities,” he noted. 

He said the Policy Manual will be completed on 29 May 2024 and subsequently launched in two weeks.

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