Liberia: Documents in possession of FPA Show No Foul Play by LWSC Managing Director in US$99k Mentioned in Leaked Audio

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MONROVIA – An independent investigation conducted by this paper has established that there may have been no foul play in the payment of US$99,000.00 representing first and second payments in favor of Hydroconseil for Feasibility Studies, Design and preparation of Tender Documents for the construction of civil and mechanical works to improve water delivery to Paynesville and Central Monrovia by the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC).  

According to the investigation, which is backed by cogent documents in possession of this paper, the Internal Audit Department (IAD) reviewed and verified payment voucher representing the 1st and 2nd payments in favor of the aforementioned mentioned company.

The investigation has disclaimed widespread reports in the media and on social media, mainly Facebook that the suspended Managing Director of the LWSC, Duannah A. Kamara, allegedly pocketed the US$99,000.00 for his personal use.  The widespread reports of the US$99,000.00 alleged misappropriation are said to have been fueled by the suspended Deputy Managing Director for Finance at the LWSC, Sencee J. Morris.  

It can be recalled that a fortnight ago, President George Manneh Weah suspended the two LWSC officials and subsequent formally requested the General Auditing Commission (GAC) to conduct an audit regarding the payment of the US$99,000.00 in question so as to ascertain the facts  and submit findings to his office within one-week period. It is not clear whether the GAC has concluded the audit and submitted its findings to the office of the President as requested.  

Accordingly, during the IAD’s review, our investigation further established, several documents were attached. They include Payment Voucher dated January 13, 2020, Approved Payment Request dated January 13, 2020, Recommendation for payment by the Project Engineer dated January 9 and 7, 2020, Payment Invoices from the Consultant, Contract between the Parties and Inception and Preliminary Design Reports from the Consultant.

Interestingly, the IAD’s review and verification, it was gathered, is to provide reasonable assurance as to the accuracy of the amounts, indicated on the voucher, the authorization   and consistency of the transaction with required procedures, laws and regulations.

Moreover, an examination of the documents, which have to do with Payment Invoices from the Consultant, shows that Fifty-Six Thousand Eight Hundred Eighty-Three United States or (US$56,883.11) inclusive of the sum of US$6,458.03 representing local indirect tax to be remitted to the Liberia Revenue Authority(LRA) on behalf of Hydroconseil of Chateauneuf de Gadagne, France as the first payment (Invoice No.1).

Therefore, US$50,425.08 was recommended for payment to the Supervision Consultant Hydroconsil and US$6,458.03 was recommended for payment to the LRA as indirect local tax on behalf of Hydroconseil

For payment two (Invoice No.2), Fifty-Five Thousand Eight Hundred Eighty-Four United States Dollars(US$55,853.43)inclusive of the sum of US$6,458.03 representing local indirect tax to be remitted to the LRA on behalf of Hydroconseil.

This means that US$49,395.4 was, therefore, recommended for payment to the Supervision Consultant Hydroconseil and US$6,458.03 was recommended for payment to the LRA as an indirect local tax on the said company.

Meanwhile, some keen observers say the suspended LWSC boss stands vindicated, as our investigation supported by undoubted documents has found no trace of the money being “squandered” by him as is being reported and widely speculated.

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