What many in certain quarters of the Liberian society may consider worthy and welcoming is the unprecedented decision by the Leadership of the House of Representatives for a comprehensive audit of that august body the General Auditing Commission or GAC.
For the first time since the inception of the Government of President Ellen Johnson-Sirreaf in 2006, a comprehensive expenditure and payroll audit for the past three years is expected before the commencement of the next fiscal year beginning July.
A very credible information obtained by the New dawn Liberia from the Capitol indicate that House Speaker J. Alex Tyler is presently at the concluding stage of discussions on the terms of the exercise, which will also include performance and procurement audits, with the authorities of the GAC, while at the same time, putting in place the necessary mechanisms for the conduct of the audit, emphasizing that the that the process 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 public perception that the 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,” the well placed source further indicated.
The main focus of the GAC audit will be the House’s Ways, Means, Finance and Budget Committee, Rules, Order and Administration Committee, as well as Human resource Department, among others, according to a well placed source in the Office of the Speaker.
Though not officially confirmed or made public by the Leadership of the House, the mere fact that such report is emanating from its Leadership to the public for the first time without any contention either from the Office of the Speaker or his Deputy, only lends credence to such information.
While there’ve been continuous calls from the public for a comprehensive audit of the Legislature and not only the Executive Branch of Government, the decision by Speaker Tyler and his leadership, this time, to over-come the stiff resistance of Members of the Legislature for an audit by submitting to good governance, must be welcomed. We could also hope for a decision by the Judiciary towards such direction to complete the circle.
And if and only if the foregoing is something that warrants public acceptance, Speaker Tyler and the Leadership of the House of Representatives may well be on the path of ensuring accountability and transparency in the use of public funds.
While the news may be welcoming and the process expected before the commencement of the next fiscal year (in July), we must all await cautiously and refrain from pre-empting and prejudicing whatever may be the primary objective of the decision of the Leadership of the House of Representatives until its implementation and logical conclusion.