Who’s ‘Shouldering’ the Head at CBL?

"My character is at stake, my whole life I have been in the bank, I didn't come here to look for job," CBL Governor Nathaniel Patray, III, told the Senate hearing yesterday.

As CBL Governor Patray issues directive to ‘freeze employment’, both deputy governors are out

The Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) has placed a freeze on employment at the institution with immediate effect. The directive also affects other human resource matters at the CBL.

It is no secret that the Central Bank of Liberia, like many other ministries and agencies of government, has been pressured by the ruling party to absorb scores of partisans into its workforce. Since the Weah administration took office, scores of names on lists attached to letters requesting employment, signed by the Coalition for Democratic Change (the ruling party) Chairman Mulbah Morlu, have reached the heads of just about every government office.

The CBL being the implementer of the nation’s monetary policy, is barred from applying political considerations in the fulfillment of its functions. Yet, even the CBL, an institution whose mandate and function have compelling implications on the national and sub-regional economy, has had to do its share to honor the ruling party’s request.

Sources at the CBL said much of the Human Resources (HR) procedures for new employments have not been adhered to for more than a year.

However, a strongly worded memorandum signed by the Executive Governor of the CBL, Mr. Nathaniel R. Patray, III, on Tuesday, May 28, 2019, directed that all matters related to promotion, salary increment, and other issues of staff benefits must be handled in line with the Bank’s policy through the Staff Performance Appraisal and Merit System.

It is unclear whether the Executive Governor’s directive signifies an immediate halt to “new employments” if commitments have already been made — per the Morlu mandate — to individuals who have received letters of employment to start work at the Bank in the coming months.

The CBL management warned that it would take stringent actions (including termination of services) against any staff found to be in violation of the directive.

“Absolutely, no staff shall receive applications, initiate or entertain any communications/discussions relating to employment, promotion, salary/benefit increase at the CBL, except expressly authorized to do so,” the CBL Executive Governor cautioned.

In other HR matters at the CBL, Deputy Governor for Economic Policy, Dr. Munir Siaplay, has resigned. Neither Dr. Siaplay nor the CBL’s communications director, Cyrus W. Badio, responded to our requests for comment up to the publication of this story. Siaplay joined the CBL in May 2016 as Deputy Governor, a tenured position that lasts for five years. Having barely completed his third year at the Bank, reasons for his early resignation could not be confirmed.

Siaplay’s departure leaves the institution with only one Deputy Governor, Charles Sirleaf. According to an amendment to the Act to amend Part IV of the CBL Act of 1999, Section 10(1) is amended to provide for two Deputy Governors, who shall serve as assistants to the Executive Governor. These deputies, according to the CBL organizational chart “shoulder” the executive suite to implement the Bank’s mandate.

Sirleaf, who is Deputy CBL Governor for Operations, is currently under house arrest on charges that include economic sabotage, misuse of public money, property or records and illegal disbursement and expenditure of public money as well as criminal conspiracy and criminal facilitation. The charges were brought following separate reports released by Kroll Associates and the Presidential Investigative Team, in connection to alleged missing billions of Liberian dollars.

In spite of the pent-up charges, there is no record to show that Deputy Governor Sirleaf has received any sort of administrative reprimand from the Bank since he was arrested and charged. In fact, the only reprimand he received in recent memory was in August 2012, when his mother, then President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, ordered Charles and 45 other government officials suspended for refusing to declare their assets.

In the absence of the Deputy Governor Sirleaf, a technocrat by the name of Chris Allison, Director for Enterprise Risk Management, is serving as the officer-in-charge in the Division of Operations.


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