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House summons LISGIS for census money

By Bridgett Milton

Members of the House of Representatives have voted to summon authorities of the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS) to appear before the august body on Tuesday, 7 June at 10 A.M. to answer to alleged misapplication of “Census Money.”

The House Plenary took the decision because of a motion for reconsideration from Grand Bassa County District #4 Representative Vicent T.H. Willie, against Plenary’s decision to forward Montserrado District#11 Rep. Richard Koon’s communication into committee room, and to report in two weeks.

Rep. Koon wrote the full plenary, begging the indulgence of his colleagues to invite LISGIS in line with the Legislature’s oversight responsibilities contained in Articles 29 to 49 of the 1986 Constitution.

In Koon’s communication, he told plenary that over the past weeks while the Legislature was on break, information about alleged fraud circulated from one media institution to another about the LISGIS, something he said if not investigated properly has the propensity to derail and hamper the upcoming Census already legislated by that august body. 

He warned that the pending Census, having been postponed twice by LISGIS and with the looming misappropriation allegations, if care is not taken, could become a fiasco.

The Montserrado County District#11 Lawmaker said the National Census Project Coordinator at LISGIS G. Alex M. Williams told the public that some senior administrators of the Institute tampered with government funds.

Rep. Koon informed his colleagues that Coordinator Williams alleged that out of US$1.8million deposited into the account of LISGIS by the Government of Liberia, Management could only account for US$700, 000 to UNFPA, prompting international partners to withhold their support for the upcoming census. 

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LISGIS has so far received 21,000 tablets and power banks from the Ghana Statistical Service for the conduct of the main enumeration phase of the 2022 census. These gadgets are intended for data collection, including installation of maps, Geo-codes, and other important software.

The Ministry of Finance and Development Planning through LISGIS has paid US$3m in the Census Basket Fund that is managed by UNFPA. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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