US$314K Misappropriated at Mines and Energy Ministry?

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Former senior staff of the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy

— And NIC for over US$200,000; But Joint PAC Reschedules Hearing over Appeals to Provide Documents to Justify Expenditures

The Ministry of Lands, Mines, and Energy has been hooked in a report released by the General Auditing Commission (GAC) for allegedly misappropriating and misapplying US$313,135, during the Fiscal Years (FY) from July 1, 2012, and June 30, 2016. According to the General Auditing Commission (GAC), transactions amounting to US$314,135.33 were expended without documentation.

During a presentation of the AG’s Report on the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy in a public hearing at the Joint Chamber of the Capitol on February 26, 2020, the GAC Deputy Auditor General, Mr. Winsley S. Nanka told the Joint Committee on Public Account and Expenditure (PAC) that out of over US$628,000, US$314,135 was expended by the Ministry without substantial financial documents.

He told lawmakers that it was discovered that procurement for goods and services amounting to US$102,799.44 did not meet the applicable procurement requirements; excessive expenditure on fuel and lubricants amounted to US$111,684.54; and an excessive expenditure on Buchanan Coastal Defense Project amounted to US$6,000.00 between approved procurement plan and the payment by LME.

Mr. Nanka indicated that there was a difference of US$11,950 between financial statements and notes to financial statements (2012/2013), which do not have supporting documents including a difference of $25,774.80 between Ledger and Cash Receipts and Payments (2015/2016). “The [authorities of the Ministry] of Lands, Mines, and Energy presented one reconciliation for each fiscal year, reconciliation tested and found to be inaccurate; and reconciliation was not signed and approved by the proper reviewer.”

“The Ministry provided land deeds for 49.34 acres of land valued at US$90,000 in Montserrado and Margibi Counties that have not been registered in the archive; US$82,149.25 was expended without evidence of travel advance retirement; US$129,634.50 paid to some individuals without evidence of meeting the applicable procurement requirement (2015/2016) and US$10,416 was given to Independent Diamond Valuator without documentation,” Mr. Nanka said in his summary of the AG’s Report.

The GAC Deputy Auditor General said there was no evidence that pre-qualified requirements of “Diamond Counselor Int’l” such as professional and technical qualifications and records of past performance before the consultant was hired and that staffs of Government Diamond Office recruited as contractors but paid as consultants, including office assistants and messengers.

He further told members of the Joint PAC Committee that Scholarships for seven staff, whose areas of disciplines did not meet the Ministry’s scholarship guidelines such as IT, law and business management. Also, regional offices in Bong, Nimba and Grand Gedeh counties were not functional and there was no evidence of Mining License Reports in Leeward Counties for all categories of miners.

He indicated that several miners operating in Grand Gedeh and Bong Counties have expired licenses; staff in Nimba, Bong, and Grand Gedeh did not maintain attendance records, and the Ministry does not have any Disaster Recovery Plan, Strategic and Operational Plan, IT Strategic Plan, amongst others. The Joint PAC Committee is headed by Representative Edward Karfiah, who chairs the House’s Committee on Public Accounts. Other members in Wednesday’s PAC hearing were Senator George Tengbeh, Representative Richard Koon, Representative Ben Fofana, Representative Clarence Gahr, and Representative Matthew Zarzar. Wednesday’s witnesses comprised senior management teams of the current and past administrations.

The current senior officials in attendance from the Ministry of Mines and Energy were Minister Gesler E. Murray; Deputy Ministers Alexander Blotey, Carlton S. Miller, George Gontor and Emmanuel Sherman; Assistant Ministers Agnes Marshall, Johnson Willabo, Emmanuel Swen, Rexfod Sarteh, and Leona Moore. Also, the Ministry’s Comptroller Allen Sumo, Analyst Sylvester Sieh and Internal Auditor Paul Fallah were present.

Former Deputy Ministers Zack Sharpe and Stephen Dorbor led the past senior management team of the Ministry of Lands, Mines, and Energy. The past Minister, Mr. Patrick Sendolo was not in attendance. He served as Minister from February 12, 2012 – 2017. Other members of the past senior management team include Henry Sambolo, Bryan Kpaolo, and George Miller.

The Joint PAC Committee voted to reschedule the public hearing of the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy for three weeks, following a motion by Representative Clarence Gahr to enable the past senior management team (2012-2016) to bring supporting documents on the transaction of US$314,135.33 when they requested for “more time” to address the issue of the US$314K which they have been accused of misapplying and misappropriating.

Meanwhile, the public hearing of the National Investment Commission (NIC) was also rescheduled to appear after two weeks for misappropriating and misapplying over US$200,000. The AG’s report covers Fiscal Years from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2016. The current chairman of the NIC, Molewuleh B. Gray, appealed for the rescheduling, in order to allow former Chairmen and Executive Directors of the NIC to justify the transactions. According to the AG’s report, payment of US$152,160 made to the workers of Cocopa Rubber Company without a clear rationale for the payment; and LD633,065 and US$14,698 payments were made without adequate supporting documentation.

The report further said payment of LD145,935 was made to individuals/employees of the entity rather than the service providers, as well as US$44,856.00 and LD15,775 expended on foreign travels without evidence that the travel advances were retired. The report further said there is no evidence that petty cash amounting to LD139,630 was replenished; no evidence that consultancy during the period met the required procurement requirement, and there was no evidence that management met the PPCC requirements in the procurement of fuel amounting to LD2,619,120 and US$48,964.  The reports indicate that LD3,394,255 was paid for services without evidence of a contract.

13 COMMENTS

    • 1. please give me a list of the corrupt officials that are currently serving time in prison for theft and corruption…….None nada zero 0.

      2. Please tell me how many people will go to jail for the 16billion and the 25 million mop up?

      3. How come Weeks and sirleaf went to jail but NOONE FROM THE $25 BILLION HAS BEEN INDICTED?

    • PLEASE TELL ME: what happened to the $25 million mop up? those fake forex shops. where are they. who are the central bank workers that made the exchange between the central bank and the FAKE FOREXs. what about the forex that was given USD $161,000 in exchange for $6000? WHICH ONE OF THESE GOD DAMN FOREXES HAVE $161,000 USD. ‘those broke butt forexes have barely $2000 on hand at any one time

  1. I think we should introduce civic education as a basis for employment for civil servants in Liberia.
    Also, this “monkey works baboon draws” must come to an end. It doesn’t incite others to patriotically serve the country.
    The mismatching must come to an end too if we want to embark on nation building. If the guy studied chemistry, don’t employ him as an accountant or an archivist. Let the preacher men get back to their pulpits to spread the word of God and let the technicians develop our technical infrastructure.
    Let justice be done to all. Do not summon the weak and let the powerful go. Accountability must begin from the top, then ordinary citizens will be afraid to indulge in any extravagant financial operations.

    Since 2005 to date, the resources evaporated through naughty and mischievous behavior every year is astronomically high. Why can’t we dare computerize major government agencies in Liberia to facilitate decision making and guarantee transparency? It may appear expensive, but when compared to what we lose in the thin air every year, I think we would be better off with sound management and save substantially.

    Let’s not boast of personal achievements amid generalized dire living conditions of the people. We are Liberians and Africans with common destiny. Intermarriages and other interactions do occur. A child you boast of may likely fall in love with a person from a lowly background with little or no education. It may be suicidal for you to accept as reality. Let’s therefore boast of collective achievements.

    Dear Liberians, Cummings and ‘apologists’ will get the job done for you come 2023. We will provide modern administration to the Liberian people, clean up dodgy actors and enhance pride and quality way of life to feel like human beings, God’s lovely creation.

    No more war!

    • liberians are incapable of voting for educated people since the advent of EJS. they love poverty. they love not having gasoline, they worship their oppressors. Liberians are like battered and abused women who love their murderous husbands. THEY LOVE THEM. LIBERIANS love GMW even though they look for food every day and live in poverty. GMW is laughing at those poor idiots who worship him regardless of their brazen corruption.

  2. Mr. Dolo,
    Why dont you tell your ANC Legislators to start holding Weah and his Management team accountable for the USD $25millions”mop up money”. If they do, we will begin to see that ANC Partisans have spines.

  3. You hold a democratic government responsible for ills in society, not a tyranny or band of thugs. They will surely be held accountable, not when they have commands over our nearly constructed and naïve security apparatuses and a corrupt and biased justice system. Don’t worry Mr. BARNARD.
    By the way, know that we hardly have 5 lawmakers for now.

  4. 2012 oh wow they are going back 8 years. what about the $25million that happened last year. WTF. what about GMW sh*t he build on the highway that was 2 years ago.

  5. A complete disgusting disgrace, I can barely find words to describe this. But I do strongly believe the best conclusion to the corrupt glorifications of the past, present and the ensuring governments is to, (I know this may sound awkward, and somehow injudicious to our principality, but to face the realities of just what we have come to get accustomed to is the malady of corruption that have grasp and incarcerated the poor masses for so many years.) We as inhabitants and casualties of this immorality should stand up, cry loud, and appeal to the (United Nations, World governing bodies, and more to the ones that gives our sovereignty (United States of America) that we can no longer govern ourselves, that they can take hold of the country and reshape our destiny, make straight our bend places, and breed new leaders with different mindset. And above all, introduce the political system of the Americas (with direct respect to political parties) eradicating the gluttony of most of our wannabe leaders (political wolves) thus, bringing Liberia to a two party system.

    Call me incautious, but in reality we need imprudent approach to solve most close-packed problems, such as the ones in Liberia.

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