General Auditing Commission Holds Forum To Enhance Accountability In Liberia
Monrovia – There will be no successful auditing process in the face of corruption, bad governance and unaccountability in Liberia, says Taweh J. Veikai of PriceWater House Coopers.
Report by Willie N. Tokpah, [email protected]“Governance and corruption are not the same thing; using public office for self-gain is corruption. So as we look at the framework, we will be able to put the important role the GAC plays in the governance structure and national development structure,” Mr. Veikai said.
Speaking Thursday, at the first auditing commission forum in Monrovia, Veikai noted that accountability would be at stake if integrity institutions are not given the space to perform their oversight responsibilities thus resulting to rampant corruption.
This, according to him, is due to the failure in the relationship between public institutions and integrity based agencies which cause serious loss to the country.
He wants government provides adequate support through legal framework to ensure that the GAC is independent and fully funded in carrying out its mandate if the pro-poor agenda is to be strengthened through accountability.
Placing emphasis on the relevance of supporting auditing institutions to enhance national developments in Liberia, he noted that entities like the GAC can contribute to the maximum development and safe revenue if necessary supports are provided them in the exercise of their responsibilities.
“In the absence of the pivotal role played by integrity institutions like the General Auditing Commission, Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission and Public Procurement and Concession Commission in exercising their oversight responsibilities, the detrimental outcome will be corruption,” he said.
The PriceWater House Cooper executive further stressed the need for the GAC to be empowered financially to perform its task and distribute its report without fear or favor.
He added that compliance policy is a key component that must be used to ensure that government ministries and agencies conform to the laws.
Representing House Speaker Dr. Bhofal Chamber, Margibi County District Number Four Representative Ben Fofana Says promoting accountability is the responsibility of every integrity institutions and should not be left with the GAC alone.
Representative Fofana said the Legislature will work with integrity institutions to ensure accountability through the use of public resources.
For his part, Finance Minister Samuel Tweah said audit remains paramount to achieving government pro-poor agenda, which is a contributing factor to change in the country.
According to him, the government is keen on ensuring that no one person will decide how to spent government money.
Minster Tweah noted that that government has transcended from the old age period of budgetary operation which resulted to the underdevelopment of the country.
“There has to be strong political support for an independent audit function for transparency institutions and integrity institutions. All branches of government have to know that we have to be transparent, effective and accountable to the country,” Tweah said.
Meanwhile, Liberia Auditor General Yusador S. Gaye noted that the consultation is an enlightenment and targets measures by which various government lines ministries and agencies know their roles and work to support the Pro-Poor agenda through accountability and transparency.
Madam Gaye added that the consultation also highlights the roles of the Internal Audit Agency and the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission in ensuring accountability for the use of public funds.