The Joint Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Liberian Legislature has disclosed that it has no corruption charges against the Management of the National Port Authority (NPA) as had been widely speculated in the public.
The Committee clarified in a statement issued on November 15, that the recent report it submitted to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on the Auditor General’s Audit of the National Port Authority did not reflect any charges of corruption or malpractices by the entity’s management.
This clarification by PAC contradicts media reports last week that the Joint Legislative Committee had indicted the NPA Management for alleged corruption or malpractices covering the period 2006/2007 and 2007/2008, respectively.
The audit was conducted by the General Auditing Commission (GAC) which is the government of Liberia’s supreme auditing institution. But according to the Act establishing the GAC, the Auditor General shall conduct audits of public institutions and submit findings to the National Legislature for recommendation to the President for prosecution of those indicted in the audit.
The PAC, however, noted that although the current management of the NPA was not in position during the audit period, it is responsible for implementing the recommendations of the AC and will be held accountable for any unfulfilled corrective actions.
At the level of the national legislature, the joint PAC Secretariat, which is run by senior accountants, economists and public administrators, reviews the audits conducted by GAC and subsequently advises the legislators on the next course of action which include a recommendation to the President to prosecute or dismiss those held liable by the audit.
The PAC has meanwhile recommended to the President that further actions be taken to address the issues of the collection of arrears and illegal occupancy of properties owned by the NPA.
The PAC also clarified that the illegal occupation of NPA’s properties by squatters was caused by past management of the NPA, not the current administration headed by Managing Director, Madam Matilda W. Parker.