Madam Mary T. Broh, Director General of the General Services Agency (GSA), has vowed to expose and shame all those involved in the constant abuse of government assets.
Speaking yesterday at the Ministry of Information’s regular press briefing in Monrovia, Madam Broh said there are people constantly involved in abusing government assets, particularly vehicles and motorcycles.
“I will in subsequent days introduce a program in the print and electronic media with wider coverage to expose, name and shame those abusers.
“We want the people to stop misusing government assets and this will help reduce government’s expenditures,” she declared.
Madam Broh stated that she is currently working along with the Liberia National Police to identify people who abuse and misuse government vehicles, especially during rush hours.
She explained, “The misuse and abuse of vehicles and other mobile equipment have increased to an unacceptable level at significant cost to tax-payers.
“Empirical data available to us at the GSA show that the misuse of government vehicles and other mobile equipment is completely out of control and support cost is significantly more than the benefit received by the government.”
As the result of such abuse in the past, the GSA boss further disclosed, an initial fleet policy was developed in 2009 to provide guidance to government institutions on the procurement, registration, use, maintenance and management of vehicles for all Ministries, Agencies and Commissions.
She emphasized that the fundamental objective of the fleet policy is to provide a strategic framework to reduce capital, maintenance and running costs of the government fleet and mobile equipment while ensuring mobility and operational efficiency to government’s employees.
The GSA boss indicated that the fleet policy will help “to create a fleet management structure and allocate responsibilities for the effective monitoring and implementation of various aspects of the policy for the benefit of government.
“It will also establish uniform practices for the use of GOL vehicles, project, rental, leased and motor pool vehicles for GOL business and GOL vehicle procurement and disposal.”
Vehicle standards will be established that will provide safe, reliable and cost effective vehicles that meet the needs of all Ministries, Agencies and Commissions (MACs). The GSA will optimize fleet utilization practices to right-size the government fleet and ensure proper allocation and use of GOL resources,” Madam Broh announced.
The essential component of the fleet management policy currently being implemented by the GSA, alongside several others, encourages vehicle ownership by civil and public servants, she stated.
“This component of the fleet management policy allows functionaries of government to purchase vehicles entrusted to their care in line with the depreciation schedule and approved revenue code of Liberia. Once the vehicle devolves to its user, the government ceases to bear responsibility for its maintenance,” she said.
Director Broh explained that the aspect of the fleet management, which allows for private ownership of government vehicles, was implemented by successive administrations with ease, until she recently distributed letters to all MACs.
Director Broh indicated that in her communication to MACs, she noted that the GSA finds the practice of double dipping unacceptable and must be discontinued for the good of the government.
“This communication is part of our effort to support austerity measures aimed at saving the government desperately needed resources that should be channeled into other priority areas of our overall national development agenda,” added Madam Broh.
She threatened to prosecute anyone who unduly burdens the government with the pressure of funding the cost of servicing vehicles already possessed by government officials.