Speculations within the corridors of the Capitol Building are that Speaker J. Alex Tyler is at a concluding stage with the General Auditing Commission or GAC for an expenditure and payroll audit of the House of Representatives.
Report suggests that the leadership of the House of Representatives headed by Speaker Tyler and Deputy Speaker Hans Barchue is putting in place the necessary mechanisms for the comprehensive audit to be conducted before the commencement of the next fiscal year which commences July of this year.
According to the report obtained from well placed sources at the Capitol Building, the audit will cover the financial activities of the House of Representatives for the immediate past three fiscal years.
For the past three fiscal periods at the House of Representatives, all financial transactions were squarely conducted by the House’ Statutory Committee on Ways, Means and Finance chaired by Margibi County Representative Emmanuel Nuquay, Lofa County Representative Moses Kollie and the Committee on Rules, Order and Administration Chaired previously by Montserrado County Edwin Melvin Snowe, along with the Procurement House’s Department.
They are expected to respond to inquiries from the GAC, during the comprehensive audit, regarding financial, procurement, as well as performance issues for the past three years.
According to the rules of the House of Representatives, the Deputy Speaker shall work closely with the relevance committees and procurement in discharging the financial duties of the House of Representatives, but later, the rules, however, empowered the Ways, Means and Finance Committee to squarely handle the financial matters of that august body.
The report further added that the audit is intended to clear the perception of the public to which the House is accountable that lawmakers were corrupt.
“The reason the speaker is initiating this audit is to disabuse the perception that House is corrupt; we’re engaged and will remain calm during the audit process so that everyone will know that the lawmakers do not play or recklessly dance in public funds,” one Capitol Building source added.
Another told this paper that the essence of the audit may be for Speaker Tyler to attack his opposition- lawmakers who may have attempted removing.
“This audit he’s calling for is to get at those who went against him or sought his removal because many of the lawmakers at the time serving on those committees will be targeted by the audit,” the source claimed.
Meanwhile, when the Director of the Press and Public Affairs Department of the House, Mr. Isaac Redd, was contacted via mobile phone on the allegation Monday, he denied knowledge of any idea on the information, but was quick to described an audit of the House as a nice thing, especially for transparency and accountability.
Mr. Redd said that the GAC was created to audit government’s institutions, especially revenue-generating and expending entities of the Government of Liberia.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor – Edited by George Barpeen