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LD$4Million Ebola report backfires

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Several partners, stakeholders, government line Ministries and Agencies on the Gbarpolu County Ebola Task Force are opposing expenditure report for the  LD$4,000,000.00 submitted to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOH/SW) by the Chairman of the County’s Incident Management System (IMS) Dr. Anthony Tucker, on grounds that they have no input in the financial report.

Gbarpolu County IMS Chair Dr. Anthony Tucker and Co-Chair Dr. Trokon Washington

The partners, stakeholders and line Ministries and Agencies that begged for anonymity, said they have received credible information that Dr. Tucker has already submitted an expenditure report to the Office of Financial Management (OFM) at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOH/SW) without their approval.

The money was provided to the Task Force by the Government of Liberia (GOL) in September to fight the deadly Ebola virus in the county. They said that the alleged refusal by the IMS to submit the report to the body for discussion and onward transmission to the appropriate authority caused the Task Force not to receive funds in October and November.

They wondered how the IMS would submit such a report when they are awaiting the report to also submit their individual institutional reports on how the money was utilized. The Task Force and the Incident Management System usually meet every Thursday to discuss matters arising out of the work of the joint Task Force.

According to them, said they were concerned about how the Incident Management System expended the amounts of L$125,515.00 intended to support individuals and families affected by Ebola, L$163,600.00 intended to facilitate burial of Ebola dead bodies, L$177,049.00 budgeted to feed Ebola patients, L$101,250.00 logged in for Active Case Search, L$105,150.00 intended to hold sensitization meeting with Traditional Healers and L$130,500.00 earmarked to motivate GCHVs.

They indicated that prior to the coming of the Global Community responsible for burial in the county; there was no Ebola related death for September. Global Community is responsible to monthly compensate those on the Ebola burial team.

Meanwhile, when The NewDawn correspondent in Gbarpolu contacted the IMS Co-chair Dr. Trokon Washington, at his office in Bopolu, he confirmed that the IMS had sent its report to the Ministry of Health long before the inquiry by members of the Task Force, adding that he has documents in his possession to show how the money was expended. 

Dr. Washington said based on the IMS report, the Health Ministry is expected to dispatch a team of auditors to the county to audit the Incident Management System which will be followed by another audit by the General Auditing Commission (GAC) on the expenditure of the money. Investigation into the usage of the LD4Million provided to the Gbarpolu County Task Force to fight the Ebola Virus continues.

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