Liberia’s Auditor General Madam Yusador S. Gaye told the just ended cabinet retreat that, auditors would pull out of audits if auditees delay in putting together relevant documents needed for their review. She said the plan is part of the GAC’s new measures for the coming year.
“… I will take a new approach. If we go in and you are wasting our time for audit, we’re going to pull out … until you get ready,” Madam Gaye said last week in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County at a Cabinet Retreat.
Her statement drew concerns from Foreign Minister Gbehzhongar Findley who questioned why she would walk away from her constitutional and statutory mandates to audit.
He argues that she must insist on conducting audit instead of walking away, reminding her of her responsibility to the State and the people of Liberia that she needs to execute.
Madam Gaye conceded and clarifies that by saying she would walk away in no mean suggest that such institution won’t be audited. Instead, she says she meant that the auditee is not ready so they must get their papers together and she will give time to do that audit.
She suggests that regulations that are put in place here including the Public Procurement and Concession Commission (PPCC) Laws and Public Financial Management (PFM) Laws need to be followed, or be cancelled if they are not needed.
“If you have put in your own laws, you need to be able to follow [them], such as the Decent Work Act …,” she says.She observes that most times when institutions hear that auditors are coming, they would tend to hide all the things in the closets and when GAC asks for documentation, they can’t be found.
Madam Gaye wondered why public officials would conceal documents relating to money which has been spent by such institution that is due to face audit.
She said such attitude puts the anti-graft agency in a position where most of its audit opinions are disclaimers because without the documentation, the Commission cannot determine if said spending made by the institution is correct or wrong.
The GAC boss said these are some of the factors which have over the years contributed to the delay in the GAC concluding audits speedily.According to her, the way forward is for Internal Audit Agency (IAA) to work with the GAC and the Liberia Anti – Corruption Commission (LACC), adding that when they do recommendations they must be implemented.
Liberia is the 122 least corrupt nation out of 175 countries, according to the 2017 Corruption Perceptions Index reported by Transparency International. The Corruption Perceptions Index ranks countries and territories based on how corrupt their public sector is perceived to be, and a country or territory’s rank indicates its position relative to the other countries and territories in the index.
By Winston W. Parley