President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has ordered a full scale investigation including comprehensive audits of all seven projects supported by the Japanese Counterpart Value Funds based on the recommendations of the Ministry of Justice.
According to an Executive Mansion release, Madam Sirleaf ordered the “full scale investigation” following the receipt of preliminary investigation reports by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Cllr. Benedict Sannoh, on the slow pace of implementation and allegations of financial improprieties in some of the seven social and economic development projects supported by the Japanese Government.
These projects include the Institutional and Human Resource Support Project under the department of International Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the construction of three bridges in Grand Cape Mount County managed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs; the construction of five storage facilities and the Paddy and Seed Rice Project, Phase two managed by the Ministry of Agriculture; and the LIFE and Small Medium Enterprise (SME) Projects managed by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
President Sirleaf has further mandated the General Auditing Commission (GAC) to expeditiously conduct a comprehensive forensic audit of the finances of the projects, while the Ministry of Justice will continue its investigations into the implementation of the projects, in close collaboration with the GAC and relevant institutions with the view to identifying and subsequently prosecuting those who may be culpable for any improprieties.
These actions are intended to prevent impunity, protect the integrity of the projects, induce transparency and accountability in their implementation, and to ensure that the developmental objectives contemplated under these projects are achieved.