‘US$8m Saved from Wasteful Spending’

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The director general of the Internal Auditing Agency (IAA), Paul Collins, has said the IAA has saved the Government of Liberia US$8 million “from wasteful spending” since the Agency began operations in 2013 to present.

Director Collins made the disclosure yesterday at the Ministry of Information’s regular press briefing on Capitol Hill in Monrovia.

According to him, ministries, agencies and commissions are beginning to adhere to audits, which helped to save the US$8 million.

Although he did not list the specific functionaries of government supported by the IAA, or whether state-owned enterprises were among those supported, Collins announced that more than 40 government ministries, agencies and commissions on a daily basis, with resident internal auditors, and at least 35 additional institutions on an ad hoc (non-resident internal auditors) basis to improve system control, governance and risk management.

He said the IAA monitors 85% of the national budget as it is spent in a systematic and disciplined manner, consistent with the PFM Act and PPCC Act.

Director Collins said the percentage of the national budget in terms of coverage has increased to 90%, particularly the 2015-2016 budget.

He said from January to June of 2015, the IAA conducted 60 audits (risk assessments) that focused on management systems and controls, and developed recommendation trackers to support risk management endeavors of all the entities receiving support from the IAA.

He said, “In a period of three months, the IAA identified real and potential losses (savings) of US$8 million.”

“Those were payments [which] we did not see their value for money and could not be justified but could have gone out had we not been present. Everyday internal auditors help government with a lot of savings otherwise the noise about corruption would have been a lot more.”

Mr. Collins, however, noted that unlike the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission, which publicizes corrupt officials of government, the IAA works daily with institutions to prevent waste and abuse of government resources as a means of ensuring value for money.

He said the public, international partners, and audit clients are developing confidence in the effectiveness of the IAA to curtail waste and abuse in the public sector and also relying more on the IAA’s work to prevent and deter waste and abuse.

“The IAA also supports entities, especially the ones that are implementing recommendations from the IAA, and are improving in preparing timely bank reconciliations; cleaning up their payrolls; adhering to establish procurement criteria; and safeguarding their assets.

“We also support in preparing account reports and instituting budgetary controls; having their deliverables validated; strengthening their revenue management systems; improving their processing times, among others,” he said.

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