Outgoing Auditor General, Yusador Gaye, Dies at 67

The late GAC boss Madam Yusador S. Gaye

The outgoing Auditor General of Liberia Yusador Sardatu Gaye, who has been hailed by many as a skilled bureaucrat and visionary auditor, has died.

She was 67 years old, approaching her 68-years, which would have been on July 14, 2021. According to sources, the late GAC boss died on Thursday, July 1, 2021, at the ELWA Hospital.

“I want to confirm to you that she died about 18:55 at the ELWA hospital. She died on arrival. She has not been going to work for two weeks,” ‘the source said. “The cause of death is not known. But the source said, “I will give you more details.”

Her tenure expired a few months ago and she was waiting to turn over to the new person who is expected to be confirmed next week. It remains unclear whether Madam Gaye's death is related to the Covid-19 pandemic that has ravaged lives in Liberia lately.  The cause of Madam Gaye's death is yet to be established by the Daily Observer.

As auditor General of Liberia, Madam Gaye was responsible for supporting the Legislature in promoting accountability and transparency in the use of Liberia’s public resources. This requirement is fulfilled through the execution of her Mandate, which is detailed in the General Auditing Commission Act of 2014.

As the County first auditing General, Madam Gaye and her team at GAC led some groundbreaking audits of the government, most notably the US$25 million mop-up report, which accuses Finance Samuel Tweah and other members of the Technical Economy Management team of giving out excess Liberian dollars that could not be accounted for during the mop-up exercise.

Her report shows many discrepancies between what the Central Bank reported and what the investigators found, and also revealed that the vast majority of transactions conducted, no receipts were issued, even though that has been the past procedure.

She was a no-nonsense bureaucrat who stuck to principles and checked the government wherever necessary. In 2019, she questioned the rationale behind the President's quest to print new additional money “citing unsettled issues in the audit giant -- Kroll and the Financial Intelligence Unit-FIU reports.”

For Madam Gaye the CBL had in the past made several mistakes and that there were too many loopholes for corruption. At some point in time, Madam Gaye told journalists that she was disappointed that the Weah administration failed to punish government officials who were involved in corrupt acts.

According to her, until the government led by President Weah can start to do such, the support from international partners would continue to be slow. Before her death, she denied a request for the Senate to audit the World Food Program over the US$25 million COVID-19 food schemes, which ended in controversy.

Giving her reason, she said she could not audit WFP because it was not expressly stated in the Memorandum of Understanding or contract, despite advising Finance Minister Samuel Tweah to include it in the MOU with the WFP. “If the government wanted the GAC to audit the WFP, it must be clearly stated in the MOU,” she stated.

However, she informed the Senators that Liberia, being a member of the United Nations, joined other members during the General Assembly to appoint a Supreme Audit Institutions to conduct independent audits of its agencies.

Madam Gaye’s successor, the new Auditor General, is P. Garswa Jackson, the Vice president for Finance and Fiscal Affairs at the University of Liberia.  

Madam Gaye was appointed by former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to serve as Liberia Auditor General. Madam Gaye was born on July 14, 1953, in Liberia. 

She is survived by two sons.  She became Liberia’s first female Auditor General, confirmed by the Senate on February 24, 2014, and sworn to a seven-year tenure on March 26, 2014.  

Prior to her appointment as Auditor General, Madam Gaye served as Foreign Service Inspector General with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where she was responsible for inspection of Liberia’s diplomatic and consular establishments abroad. 

Some of her prior experiences included roles as Senior Accountant and Management Advisor with the North Carolina State Treasurer – State and Local Finance Division, and a bank examiner with the North Carolina Bank Commission, in addition to a position as a senior accountant with a regional accounting firm.

Madam Gaye graduated from North Carolina Central University with a Master of Public Administration degree; she also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Saint Augustine’s College in North Carolina. 

A Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA), she was a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the North Carolina State Board of Public Accountants, the Liberia Institute of Certified Accountants, and the American Society for Public Administrators.

Other achievements under her stewardship at the General Auditing Commission include, but are not limited to, the enrollment of staff into various Professional Certificate Training Programs; alignment of audit staff in various grades; reformation of the Commission’s HR and ICT policies in consonance with international best practice. 

In addition to the foregoing, she has conducted more specialized audits to include the Coastal and Marine Management audit and Illicit Fund Flow Audit.  The aforementioned accomplishments are also inclusive of the audit of the General Auditing Commission in 2016 for the very first time in its history by the Kenya Audit Office.