Majority of the Senators on Capitol Hill are in agreement with a committee’s recommendation to have the staffers’ payroll audited by the General Auditing Commission (GAC).
The Liberian Senate debated the committee’s report Thursday, 13 August in relation to their staffers salaries.
Senators Varney Sherman, Johnathan Kaipay and CommanyWesseh, among others, say the GAC need to conduct a comprehensive audit on the staffers’ payroll to determine who are those that are working and the ghost names that are on the payroll.
For his part, Sinoe County Senator J. Milton Teahjay says he is in agreement with the recommendation for the GAC to take over the audit.
But he fears that when the ghost names are discovered, the Senate will be forced to fire those people, noting that this will not give the Senate a good face.
“We are politicians and we are in political season. If we fire those that will be discovered, the public will not understand it that way. They will say instead of us who should be promoting employment are the ones taking jobs from people and it might go against us,” Senator Teahjay claims.
Montserrado County Senator Abraham Darius Dillon however says the plenary of the Liberian Senate should invite the Civil Service Agency (CSA) and the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning to tell the Senate if its staffers’ Liberian dollars salaries were actually cut off.
Senator Dillon is a member of the ad hoc committee set up to investigate the staffers’ payroll. He says he has in his possession a video that some officials from the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning and the CSA told some of the aggrieved staffers that the Liberian dollars component of their salaries were not cut off.
He also says they have been telling their staffers that t heir Liberian dollars were cut off but the video seems contrary, thereby asking plenary to cite those two agencies to tell the Liberian Senate and their staffers what actually happened to the salaries.
Also speaking, Senator Saah Joseph says the Senate needs to submit its staffers’ payroll to the CSA so that the staffers can be permanent employees.
He however says their colleagues at the House of Representatives have already submitted their staffers’ payroll to the CSA, urging the Liberian Senate to do the same.
Meanwhile, the presiding Officer Senator Albert Chie of Grand Kru County says the committee should carry on its work as he takes into consideration all the suggestions made by the Senators.
By Ethel A Tweh–Edited by Winston W. Parley