The Auditor General of Kenya, Mr. Edward R. O. Ouko, has stated the General Auditing Commission (GAC) of Liberia from 2009 – 2013 was extremely corrupt and failed to comply with rules governing international financial best practice.
In an abstract report to the National Legislature, the Kenyan AG said the GAC, during the four years under review, did not have “any clear accounting system in place” and no tangible documentation existed to support goods and services procured.
Mr. Ouko made the startling summary report Tuesday in the William R. Tolbert Joint Chambers of the Legislature at a program marking his presentation of the GAC audit report to the Legislature.
The actual final report will be submitted at a later date yet to be set.
The former chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Legislature, Sen. Edward B. Dagoseh, on behalf of the Legislature, had requested the GAC to allow external audits of its activities in order to identify numerous challenges and shortfalls.
The GAC was created by an Act of the Legislature to audit all government institutions to promote transparency and accountability. However, the Act does not allow the GAC to audit itself.
In compliance with the Law, Auditor General Madam Yusador S. Gaye contacted the Supreme Audit Institution of Kenya, requesting that it conduct the audit.
The Kenyan AG, who is also the head of Kenya’s Supreme Audit Institute, said with the consent of the Legislature, the GAC was audited for the period 2009 to 2015, and categorized the report into two sections (2009 – 2013 and 2014 – 2015).
Mr. Ouko said there have been numerous fraudulent activities from 2009 to 2013, including the lack of considerable documentation for procuring vehicles, exclusion of donor funding from financial statements, as well as an extra account at Ecobank, among others.
He described 2012 and 2013 as “Years of Financial Problems” at the GAC.
The Kenyan AG further pointed out, however, that between 2014 and 2015 there was significant improvement in the GAC’s adherence to international standards and best financial practice, with the installation of accounting software, but said the GAC is still not timely with its financial statements.
In response, Deputy Speaker Hans Barchue, Senator Nyonblee Lawrence and Senator George Tengbeh in separate remarks hailed the GAC for submitting to the audit and thanked the Kenyan AG for the audit.
Sen. Lawrence said the GAC audit set a precedent for any institution to be audited.
Mr. Erik Kristensen of the European Union, on behalf of the GoL’s development partners, thanked the GAC and Mr. Ouko of Kenya.
Madam Yusador Gaye, Liberia’s AG, said the auditing of the GAC was meant to promote transparency and accountability.
Former Auditor Generals John Morlu, II and Robert Kilby, who ran the GAC during the period in question, could not be reached for comments on the report.