GSA: “517 Ebola Vehicles, Motorcycles Not Missing”

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The General Services Agency (GSA) says it is vigorously collaborating with the Ministry of Health (MOH) to reclaim Ebola donated vehicles and motorcycles which have reportedly been missing in the discharge of their respective duties as captured by the General Auditing Commission (GAC) in its report on response operations during the Ebola epidemic.

Contrary to the GAC’s report of the 100 missing Ebola vehicles, the GSA said it has documents from the Internal Audit Agency (IAA) verifying that none of the 382 vehicles is missing.

The GSA says of the fleet of 134 motorcycles only one has been reportedly stolen in Margibi County.

“Because the normal health care delivery program is not interrupted by the audit, a few vehicles, especially ambulances could not be physically accounted for at the time of the initial audit conducted by GAC,” the GSA said.

However, GSA confirmed that its Internal Audit Agency (IAA) established that authorities at the MOH have since taken action to physically verify the fleet of vehicles. “The verification of the remaining vehicles will serve as an addendum to the audit report,” the GSA said in a release.

The release said the IAA’s audit report made it clear that vehicles and motorcycles purchased or donated to support the fight against Ebola last year are generally in good condition, and were being properly managed.

“To date, none of the local or international partners have reported abuse or misuse of vehicles or other assets donated during the health crisis,” the release said.

GSA Acting Director General, Atty. J. Cole Bangalu said, according to the release, “at the moment, the GSA in collaboration with the MOH is assembling vehicles donated for the Ebola fight at the SKD Complex as mandated by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

It may be recalled that the GAC’s audit reports on the expenditure of Ebola funding pointed out violations of laws, regulations and other procedures by the management team of the funds.

Shortly after the report was released, President Sirleaf defended her officials when she declared that the situation was a state of national emergency and therefore decisions were made in the context of saving and protecting lives.

Before the audit report was released, the President, while addressing media executives at her office, acknowledged knowing that there might have been some ‘procedural errors’ in expending Ebola funds.

She however expressed the belief that the expenditures made during the Ebola crisis were intended to save the lives of the hundreds who were afflicted and dying of Ebola on a daily basis.

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