The former Comptrollers and Account Generals of the Republic of Liberia, Mr. John B.S. Davies, Messrs. Boom M. Wilson and Dede Sandiman and Dr. Christopher Sokpor, Manager of the PFMU Unit, have been ‘declared free’ from the report of the General Auditing Commission (GAC) from having to restitute US$52,003,754.32 as recommended in the AG’s Special Procurement Audit of the Ministry of Public Works for the construction of roads and bridges throughout Liberia for the fiscal period July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2013.
The Committee said on page 14 (c) of the report, “having followed the deliberations at the public hearing and based on the findings from the scrutiny of the documentations conducted by the GAC technical team and the PAC secretariat, it has resolved that documentations submitted by Dr. Christopher Sokpor, Messrs. John B.S. Davies, Dede Sandiman and Boom M. Wilson were proven to be responsive and adequately addressed the audit queries as asserted by the Auditor General.”
“Thus,” the Committee recommends that “in an event of audits of such critical nature, the responsible persons should be prompt in responding to Audit Observation as raised by the Auditor General.”
The GAC, in its report, had recommended that former Comptroller and Account General John B.S. Davies should restitute US$6,905,166.38; Messrs. Boom M. Wilson and Dede Sandiman should restitute US$43,420,200.44; and PFMU Unit Manager Dr. Christopher Sokpo should restitute US$1,669,387.50, totaling US$52,003,754.32.
At the joint Legislature’s Public Hearings on May 18 and 29, 2016, the four men submitted payment vouchers which were supported by several documentations but not limited to local purchase order, verification memoranda from Internal Audit, project consultants verification reports, resident engineer reports, certification of completion, letter of request for payment, copies of Bill of Quantities (BOQ), certificates of business registration, tax clearances, performances guarantees, etc.
Meanwhile, the joint PAC has concurred with the Auditor General’s reports to hold liable over 20 former and present government officials for the restitution of millions of United States and Liberian dollars.
The report also established the existence of systematic weaknesses within the internal control, administrative and financial-related issues at their respective workplaces.
The joint PAC comprised members from the Senate and the House of Representatives and is responsible to scrutinize and validate audit reports from the Auditor General and recommend to the President for execution.
The report, bearing index number PAC/R-003/2016 and published on September 2016, also affected the Ministries of Agriculture, Youth and Sports as well as the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation, Liberia Electricity Corporation, and the National Oil Company of Liberia.
The report has been forwarded to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and copies sent to anti-graft commissions.
Each of the former top officials of the Ministry of Agriculture, including Minister Dr. Chris Toe, Deputy Minister Peter Korvah, Assistant Minister Philomena T. Williams, Comptroller Ernest Massaquoi and Comptroller Samuel B. Nah, should restitute US$69,283.41 and L$1,029,694.43.
The former comptrollers, Ernest Massaquoi, Samuel B. Nah and Stephen Y. Konah, are also to restitute the amounts of US$5,908.60 and L$283,557.45.
The following Personnel Directors: Daniel B. Smith, Mrs. Mayann Blidi and James Sallie, should further restitute L$283,557.45.