GAC Wants More Robust Action from PPCC, Lawmakers

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Participants at the beginning of the Legislative Public Accounts Committee retreat in Ganta.

GAC’s Deputy Auditor-General Winsley S. Nanka, has suggested that the list of uncooperative government entities should be submitted to the National Legislature quarterly and further requested that contractors who abandoned projects should be debarred by the PPCC and the listing published. He also wants regular Public hearings to be conducted by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) into reports submitted by the GAC within a specified period of time and that the Executive should act on audit report recommendations submitted by the PAC within a specified period of time. He then advised that the audit recommendations status report be prepared and submitted to the Legislature quarterly by the Executive.

The Deputy AG proffered these suggestions at a five-day retreat to enhance the capacity of the members of the Joint Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Liberian Legislature has kicked off in Ganta, the Commercial City of Nimba County.  

The retreat, which is intended to focus on training members of the PAC on procedures and how to examine the statement of accounts of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) for Public Hearings Purposes, is sponsored by the World Bank, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), GIZ and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the retreat, the Chairman of the Joint PAC, Bong County District 5 Representative Edward W. Karfiah says the retreat will seriously place a spotlight on government spending, the value for money, and effective Budget support from SOEs towards the National Budget.

Rep. Karfiah, who was very emphatic in his statement, revealed that the PAC uncovered that the haphazard approach of SOEs towards the National Budget is a major cause for the underperformance of programs and projects under the social development of the government.

“This is not fine for our governance process and this retreat will hereafter not take it lightly. We will spotlight it along with the Counties’ Development Funds audit report, as conducted by GAC,” Rep. Karfiah said.

For his Part, Michael M. Thomas, the Executive Director of the PAC Secretariat, affirmed that the Secretariat is under obligation to provide technical and professional support to the Joint Committee at all times by reviewing, analyzing, and scrutinizing all audits tabled to the Legislature by the Auditor General. He also intimated that the secretariat works assiduously in the organization of the public hearing which has the overall objective of according the Auditees and former officials of government due process as required by law. In closing, he apprised the press that the Committee with the support of the secretariat has published seven consolidated reports constituting over forty-five (45) Ministries, Agencies and Public Corporations which has been endorsed by the plenary of the legislature and submitted to the President for implementation.

Integrity Institutions participating and making presentations at the retreat include the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), Financial Intelligent Unit (FIU), Governance Commission (GC), Internal Audit Agency (IAA), Public Procurement & Concession Commission (PPCC) and the Governance Auditing Commission (GAC).

Also speaking, the Governance Commissioner-in-Charge, Elizabeth Dorkin, said that the GC is planning to conduct the Mandates and Functions Review (MFR) for 39 SOEs, to determine the viability of each SOE for enhanced revenue growth.

The Officer-In- Charge of the GC is further recommending that everyone accused of corruption should be treated equally as a way of protecting the Rule of Law.

The five-day retreat is expected to end on the 24 of October 2020 with a developed roadmap for a coordinated and enhanced the capacity of the PAC Members and strengthening relation with Integrity institutions.

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