GAC Report: Liberia Not Prepared To Meet UN Sustainable Development Goals Vision 2030

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Monrovia – The General Auditing Commission   has submitted three audit reports to the National Legislature with copies to the President of Liberia.  The reports submitted recently are the John F. Kennedy Medical Center (JFKMC) for the fiscal year July 1, 2015 to June 30 2017.  The Monrovia City Corporation for the fiscal years July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2017 and a Performance Audit Report on Liberia’s Preparedness for Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals, December 31, 2018.

The GAC identified multiple issues of significant materiality that affect the operations of these entitles and Liberia’s Preparedness for Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals as stated below:

Liberia’s Preparedness for Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals December 31, 2018

The Republic of Liberia in September 2015, along with 192 other nations, committed herself to the UN global framework, the United Nations 2030 Agenda – Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  The Agenda 2030 outlined 17 goals and 169 targets.  If Agenda 2030 is implemented by a country, it is anticipated that outcome will end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that its citizens enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.

In addition to the SDGs, Liberia has signed on to the continental African Union’s Agenda 2063, another strategic framework for the socio-economic transformation of the continent over the next 50 years. AU Agenda 2063 builds on, and seeks to accelerate the implementation of past and existing continental initiatives for growth and sustainable development.  

Liberia officially launched the SDGs on January 25, 2016 with various stakeholders, namely, the legislature, judiciary, international partners, civil societies, business communities, local government and citizens in attendance. The Ministry of Finance & Development Planning was nominated and approved by cabinet to serve as the lead and coordinating institution for domestication of these agenda through a steering committee and a technical working group

The rationale for the audit was to verify whether Liberia as a country has a measurable outcome in preparing to implement its obligations in the global initiative and outcomes as envisioned in the UN Resolution A/70/1.  In addition, an unplanned outcome of the audit also enables Supreme Audit Institution (SAI), as the external auditor of the government assess its capacity to audit the SDGs implementation.  The audit therefore concludes the following:

The coordinating and institutional arrangement to allow for development, implementation of the domestication of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)vision 2030 in Liberia, although started very strong from documents reviews, the documents were incomplete, unapproved, and activities are on-going.

Frameworks and strategies, especially communications are not in place to drive the process. To effectively and systematically implement the SDGs, there must be a plan for stakeholders at every level.  The GAC found no such plan during the audit.

The area of coverage for awareness across the country was very poor and the messages were not very clear; as such, GAC can conclude that more awareness has to take place so that the populace understands the goals and targets of the SDGs.

Finally, if Liberia is not to be left behind in this global commitment, domestication has to be done fast-tracked, thoroughly and immediately.

JFK medical Center:

Dr. Wvannie Scott- McDonald General Administrator & CEO, July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017

The GAC identified discrepancy of US$181,332 between the total amounts disbursed to JFKMC per the Fiscal Outturn Report 2016/2017 and the total amount received per the financial report prepared by the JFKMC. 

 The JFKMC Management expended US$3,445,5890 above its Approved Budget without approval by the Board of Directors.

The amount US$3,476,089 reported as internally generated revenue by the JFKMC Management could not be supported by adequate ledgers and other documentation.

The amount of US$1,189,953.00 reported as donations and contributions by the JFKMC Management was not supported by documentation.

There was a variance of US$753,580.70 between the total expenditure as per the Bank Statements of the JFKMC and the total Expenditure as per the financial report prepared by JFKMC, which could not be justified. Further, the bank reconciliation statement did not explain the variances.

The JFKMC Management made several payments amounting to US$1,389,522.12 and L$14,868,258.34 for professional services, drugs and medical supplies, fuel, travels and various goods, works and services without adequate supporting documents.

The JFKMC Management carried out procurement splitting for the purchase of drugs and medical supplies, fuel and various goods and services amounting to L$69,274,865.77.

The amounts of US$126,300.06 and L$16,550,416.00 was ordered by the Court to be restituted by some former employees of JFKMC who defrauded the Hospital. But up till now, there has been no restitution of these amounts.

There were variances of L$1,554,510.00 and US$6,219.00 observed based on GAC’s audit sample between the net payrolls sent to the Ministry of Finance and the Bank, which should be refund to staff who were underpaid.

Monrovia City Corporation: Mayor during the audit periods Clara Doe Mvoko, July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2017

Revenue recorded in the MCC cash book in the amount of L$5, 366,775 and US$25,458.72 were without evidence of invoices, receipts and bank deposit slips to confirm that revenue paid were in accordance with MCC tariff and policy.

Additionally, there was no evidence that the total amount of US$33,900 and L$244,000 of municipal tax revenue was deposited in the MCC’s bank account even though receipts and invoices were issued to the various business entities. 

The MCC Management made multiple withdrawals amounting to L$30,591,820.15 and US$391, 560 respectively from MCC’s several bank accounts without evidence of supporting documentation such as payment vouchers and invoices to justify the regularity of the transactions.

MCC Management made multiple payments amounting to US$9,127.41 and L$ 4, 712,575.91 to several individuals and/or employees of the entity rather than the service providers.

The MCC Management expended US$3,716,571.87 for supplies and consumables without evidence of an approved procurement plan. The MCC Management did not prepare and maintain adequate books of accounts and proper records of transactions undertaken by the entity. Transactions were recorded manually which undermines the reliability, accuracy and completeness of the financial records provided for audit.

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