On Wednesday, February 3, 2010, the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission (JPC) formally released its 2009 Annual Situation Report on the country. In its report, the JPC, among other things, alerted the Government, the Liberian People and other state actors on those issues that affected the lives of all and sundry during the period under review. One of the cardinal issues raised by the JPC has to do with audit.
While appreciating the General Auditing Commission (GAC) for its high performance in identifying theft, abuse and waste of state resources as evidence by the many audit reports thus far, the JPC strongly underscored the need for a comprehensive audit of the GAC itself, the National Legislature, the Judiciary and all functionaries of the Executive as a matter of national urgency and imperative.
“The Liberian government is a unit comprising of three branches (Executive, Legislature and Legislature). The JPC feels that it will be an honorable idea that state monies and resources are accounted for by the other two branches of government.”
“The JPC wonders why after four (4) years of operation of the GAC, it has limited its audits to few Ministries and Agencies within the Executive Branch of Government and not the Legislative and Judicial branches of government.” The JPC further quizzed as to whether the other two branches of government (Legislative and Judiciary) are excluded from these audits or are immune to audits. We believe the JPC has raised a very key point. Its call is very guarded and in the right direction.
Indeed, a comprehensive audit of the GAC itself, the Legislature, the Judiciary and all functionaries of the Executive is very important. Wherefore, as the JPC rightly puts it, it appears that the GAC attention has just been on select government institutions, particularly those within the Executive Branch of Government and leaving out the Legislative and Judicial Branches. This, in our view, is a job not well done.
We think this is a disservice to the Liberian people, because these other branches of government are to be held accountable as well. In addition, the GAC itself needs to be audited because it is also a recipient of state money-At least, the public know that its house is in order.
Therefore, we call on all well meaning Liberians, who want to see this country developed following years of backwardness, to wholeheartedly welcome the JPC’s call. As the rights group rightly stated, if the fight against the much publicized war on corruption must be won, it must be holistic, it is very important that the three branches of government, including the GAC be audited.
Quite frankly, the Liberian people need to know via audit how the state monies and resources are being used in every sector of government and not just certain segments- Doing so is a disservice to the nation, a job, again, not well done. The corruption fight must have no boundary. Let it show a clear picture of this cancer that is said to be entrenched in our society at all levels.
On this note, we encourage the GAC, which no doubt has been fighting waste, fraud and abuse in the country, to consider the call by the JPC as a challenge and act accordingly without fear or favor.