The Internal Audit Agency (IAA) with support from the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning commences a vigorous payroll verification and cleanup exercise shortly.
IAA Director-General Emmanuel B. Nyeswa, says the exercise is in fulfillment of one of the Agency’s top priorities for the fiscal period relating to payroll verification aimed at heightening fiscal probity in public governance.
“We are pleased to announce today that the IAA has concluded resource mobilization with the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning for the contracting of a certified public accounting firm to audit books of the Internal Audit Agency of Liberia to include its payroll for the period under our stewardship,” he told a press conference here on Monday.
According to him, this is required under IAA Act of 2013, Section 8.2 ‘Books of Accounts” and its attending regulation.
Mr. Nyeswa explains that the goal of this exercise is to present a rigorous analysis of the Internal Audit Agency’s operations, while vouching for its systems of internal controls in order to assuage any doubt of irregularities moving forward.
“In these ensuing days, we shall proceed, in keeping with public procurement procedures, with the publication of Expressions of (EOIs) in the local dailies [and] official websites, requesting qualified independent public accounting institutions to participate in this professional exercise,” he adds.
The IAA boss continues the move further justifies the Agency’s unfettered commitment and determined will, as an anti-graft institution, to ensure good governance in the public sector by instituting systems and control as a way o guaranteeing fiscal probity in the expenditure of public resources.
He reflects that as a matter of fact, the Internal Audit Agency for the period under review embarked on a nationwide payroll cleaning exercise, involving the Ministries of Health, Education, Internal Affairs, and security sectors, among others.
“The referenced audits, some of which are still ongoing, have greatly helped the Government of Liberia in saving millions in United States Dollars from ghost paddling on the government’s payroll for years, which we believe will be redeployed to other productive sectors.”
He says these significant efforts are ongoing with the goal of strengthening accountability in the expenditure of public resources.
“We are of the considered opinion that opening the financial books of the IAA to an independent public account scrutiny will serve the greater good of toughening our resolve to improve the overall internal control environment as well as the operational performances of the Government of Liberia,” he maintains.
He calls for the fullest support and cooperation of all concerned in the performance of this worthwhile exercise to enable the institution continuously execute its mandate of providing assurances that financial and operational activities of government are in compliance with applicable laws, policies, standards and procedures.
Meanwhile, Director Nyeswa discloses that the Liberian government will, in the next few weeks, announce the constitution of a national payroll cleanup task force, including its terms of reference and composition before deployment.
He notes the audit of the Internal Audit Agency’s activities should be completed within 60 days, covering procurement, and publication of said reports.By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor