The Director-General of the Internal Audit Agency (IAA) of Liberia, Emmanuel B. Nyeswa has announced the launch of a nationwide payroll cleaning exercise for several ministries and the security sector for the betterment of good governance and transparency.
Mr. Nyeswa, made the disclosure on Monday, February 10, 2020, at a news conference in Monrovia, when he indicated that the nationwide payroll cleaning exercise will focus on the health, education, internal affairs, and security sectors, among others.
“The referenced audits, some of which are still ongoing, have greatly helped the Government of Liberia in saving millions in United States Dollars from the padding of ghost names on the government’s payroll for years, which we believe will be redeployed to other productive sectors,” Director Nyeswa said.
Mr. Nyeswa said while these significant efforts are ongoing with the goal of strengthening accountability in the expenditure of public resources, IAA believes is of the opinion that opening the financial books of the IAA to an independent public account scrutiny will serve the greater good of toughening our resolve to improve the overall internal control environment as well as the operational performances of entities of the Government of Liberia.
“We crave the fullest support and cooperation of all concerned in the performances of this worthwhile exercise to enable the institution continuously execute its mandate of providing assurances that financial and operational activities of government are in compliance with applicable laws, policies, standards and procedures,” he said.
The audit of the internal audit agency’s activities should be completed within 60 days to include procurement, audit and publication of said reports.
Mr. Nyeswa said the government will in the next few weeks announce the constitution of a national payroll cleanup task force; the term of reference, and composition will be made known before the deployment. The IAA certainly will play a major lead on said task force; it is appropriate we take the first step by having our payroll and accounts activities fully audited with said audit result published for public consumption.
The government is determined to complete this exercise before the start of the new budget process and will comprise all government institutions in all of the counties.
Mr. Nyeswa said the exercise is in fulfillment of one of the Internal Audit Agency’s top priorities for the fiscal period relating to payroll verification aimed at heightening fiscal probity in public governance, we are pleased to announce today that the IAA has concluded resources mobilization with the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) for the contracting of a certified public accounting firm to audit the books of the Internal Audit Agency (IAA) of Liberia to include its payroll for the period under the current stewardship.
This requirement is under IAA act of 2013, Section 82 “Books of Accounts” and its attending regulations.
“The goal of this exercise is to present a rigorous analysis of the Internal Audit Agency’s operations, while at the same time vouch for its systems of internal controls in order to assure any doubt of irregularities moving forward,” Director Nyeswa said.
He continued: “In the ensuing days, we shall proceed, in keeping with public procurement procedures, with the publication of Expressions of Interest (EOIs) in the local dailies as well as official websites requesting qualified independent public accounting institutions to participate in this professional exercise.”
Mr. Nyeswa said this move further justifies the unfettered commitment and determined will, as an anti-graft institution, to ensure good governance in the public sector by instituting systems and controls as a way of guaranteeing fiscal probity in the expenditure of public resources.