The President’s latest re-nomination comes nearly a year of delay in appointing an Auditor General, though she said she owed no apology for the delay.
Mr. Robert L. Kilby is an independent consultant and auditor. He is also an exam writer for the American Institute of Certified Accountants based in the United States.
In August 2011, President Sirleaf nominated the internationally acclaimed auditor, but his nomination encountered stiff resistance from some members of the public, minutes after standard issues were raised at the auditing house (General Auditing Commission) and procedures used by former Auditor General John Morlu during audits.
Some members of the public argued that the nominee had a questionable academic credential (university degree) and as such, he was not qualified for the post, a claim that he (Kilby) denied repeatedly.
The debate, which lasted for more than two months, later compelled President Sirleaf to withdraw the nomination of Mr. Kilby from the Senate.
However, Executive Mansion sources told the Daily Observer yesterday that President Sirleaf was still pleased with the nominee and had no regret of re-nominating him as Auditor General.
Few weeks ago, the President told the Daily Observer in an exclusive interview that she had no regret for delaying appointing an Auditor General.
She said the Civil Service Agency (CSA) was instructed to conduct vetting and recruitment of candidates, mentioning that it would take time.
“I am not involved with the selection process but rather the Civil Service Agency that will do the recruitment and vetting of nominees and submit a list of successful candidates to me for appointment so that it can meet the constitutional requirement,” the President told the Daily Observer few weeks ago in her Foreign Ministry office.
But sources at the Executive Mansion confided in the Daily Observer that the Senate has already received the President’s re-nomination.
Additionally, some senators, who spoke to the Daily Observer on condition of confidentiality, confirmed the Senate’s receipt of the President’s communication and said the matter was now in the committee’s room.
The Senators named the Ways, Means and Finance as the committee handling the matter and is expected to report to plenary in one week period.
Asked whether the nominee would be confirmed by the Senate amidst the controversy surrounding his academic credential, some senators replied positively, noting that the Senate would conduct its own research on the nominee, vowing not be moved by any public sentiment.
“If the man is qualified for the job I will vote for him because this is not about an individual but it is about Liberia,” one senator confided in the Daily Observer yesterday.
However, when the office of the Director General of the Civil Service, Dr. William Allen, was contacted for comment, his office informed the Daily Observer that the director would comment at an appropriate time.
But sources closed to the offices of the director general hinted that nine persons applied, but Mr. Kilby topped the requirement set forth by the CSA.
“The recruitment exercise did involve Liberian applicants at home and abroad in a transparent and competitive process. The exercise included due diligence on submitted curriculum vitae and interviews of applicants,” our CSA source hinted the Daily Observer.
In August of 2011 the Civil Service Director General Dr. C. William Allen, who spearheaded the recruitment exercise, is on record for describing Mr. Kilby as the best person for the job.