Liberia: Legislature Public Accounts C’ttee Vows to Fight Corruption
Monrovia – The new leadership of the Joint Public Accounts and Expenditure Committee (PAC) of the House of Representatives and the Senate, has pledged to fight corruption.
Report by Henry Karmo, [email protected]
On Wednesday, February 7, the Joint PAC of the 54th Legislature assumed responsibility with renewed commitment to collaborate with the General Auditing Commission (GAC), the Internal Auditing Committee (IAA) and other anti-graft institutions in order to ensure that audit reports are implemented to their fullest.
Speaking Wednesday, the new Chairman of the Joint PAC, Senator Henry W. Yallah of Bong County, indicated that under his leadership, the Committee stands ready to fight corruption, to see value for money and control wasteful spending.
Chairman Yallah pointed out that the objectives of the PAC cannot be realized without the “political will” of the Executive to implement the recommendations as contained in the committee’s findings.
“I am happy that in the President’s first Annual address, he talked about the need for support from the Legislature.
The PAC fits in this support that he talked about,” Sen. Yallah emphasized.
Chairman Yallah indicated that the PAC will not be a “sleeping giant” and it will be left with the Executive for its expressed will as they at the Legislature will adequately play their part.
The Senator disclosed that he will seek for more training opportunities for the Committee members and at the sometime strengthen the PAC Secretarial, which he described as the “engine of the committee.”
Also speaking at the occasion, the Chairman of the PAC of the House of Representatives, Edward Karfiah, indicated that the task is huge, but the current team is set to achieve the goals.
Speaking earlier, the outgoing Chairman of the Joint PAC, Rep. Thomas P. Fallah, expressed confidence in the new leadership to sustain and add on to the gains made.
Rep. Fallah commended the GAC, the Executive and partners for their collaboration during his tenure.
For her part, the Auditor General of Liberia, Madam Yusador S. Gaye, assured members of the Joint PAC of a cordial working relationship between the General Auditing Commission (GAC) and the 54th Legislature.
According to her, GAC directly reports to the Legislature, the findings of the audit reports so as to be reviewed by the Joint PAC before and subsequently make submission to the Executive for action.
Madam Gaye indicated that GAC as an integrity institution will tirelessly work in the interest of the Liberian people in the fight against corruption.
The GAC boss told members of the committee that the institution will be robust in supporting the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC)-led government agenda on accountability.
She called on the Committee to speedup with the review of audit reports currently on the desk of the PAC, in order to give way for other pending reports to be submitted.
She informed members of the committee that there are dozens of reports which have not been acted upon by the Committee.
She urged the Legislature to at time respond to public criticism against the GAC because the entity reports directly to the Legislature.
The Auditor General disclosed that the GAC has completed 177 audits; however, she didn’t say how many audit reports are before the Joint PAC for consideration.
The tenure of the chairmanship of the Joint PAC alternates every three years between the House of Representatives and the Liberian Senate.
Sen. Yallah replaces Rep. Thomas Fallah, who completed the tenure of Rep. Ben Fofana.
The co-chairman of the Joint PAC is Rep. Edward W. Karfiah, the chairman of the House’s PAC.
The 54th Legislature’s Joint PAC membership are Sen. G. Alphonso Gaye, co-chairman on the Senate PAC, Sen. Dallas A.V. Gueh, Sen. Nyonblee K. Lawrence, Sen. Jim Tornorlah, Sen. George Tengbeh and Sen. Edward Dagoseh. Others are Rep. Clarence Garr, co-chairman on the House PAC, Rep. Matthew Zarzar, Rep. Ben. A. Fofana, Rep. Clarence Massaquoi, Rep. Francis S. Dopoh II, Rep. Edwin M. Snowe, Rep. Acarous M. Gray and Rep. Robert F. Womba.
This new Joint PAC committee is expected to serve for three years, because according to Rules and Regulations of the House and Senate, the House appoints statutory and standing committee every three years, while the Senate has election every three year for statutory committee.
The Deputy Auditor General of GAC, Mr. Winsley S. Nanka and the Director of the Internal Auditing Agency (IAA), Mr. E. Barthan Nyeswa were also in attendance.