Liberia: General Auditing Commission Finalizing Nat’l Lottery Authority ‘Shocking’ Audit

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MONROVIA – The Frontpage Africa has reliably learnt that the General Auditing Commission (GAC) is concluding its audit  of the operations of the National  Lottery Authority(NLA)  after the management of the NLA reportedly responded  to the GAC  Audit Management Letter sent  a fortnight ago to  the NLA’s Management  for official response. 

According to well-placed  GAC  source,  the Commission, which  has  the mandate to audit government transactions and investigate issues of corruption and financial malpractices, will  submit  the audit  report to the Legislature and Executive for action following the conclusion of  said audit .   

The GAC source, who spoke on condition of anonymity,  added that the Commission is expected to come up with appropriate recommendations from the Auditor General  for action. 

The  GAC Audit Management Letter sent to the Management of  the NLA was  contained in the preliminary findings of the audit.  

The Audit of the NLA, which is clothed with the authority  to supervise games of chance which have been listed as including raffles, numbers games, casinos, slot machines or promotional competitions or any scheme, system or arrangement that results in the distribution of a prize by chance, covers the  years 2015 – 2019  respectively. 

Accordingly, in the GAC  Audit Management Letter sent   to  the NLA’s Management  leaked to media discovered that  $US 2.7M cannot be accounted for and has asked the Management of the NLA to explain why the funds cannot be accounted for.

Although  the audit has not been  finalized,  it does seem quite alarming that the  NLA’s administration, which is headed by Mr. Martin S.  Kollie would have expended huge amount  of monies supposedly  without any documentation and or proper authorization.  

The audit also uncovered that checks were  allegedly written  to various persons, including   Director-General Kollie  without any source document and or explanation why payments were being made.  

At the same time, the Frontpage Africa has also gathered that the Board  Chairman of the NLA,   Mr. Titus Charlie, has not seen or received copy of the GAC Audit Management  Letter sent to the NLA’s Management   for official  response.

The NLA  Board Chairman, it was reported, was never sent  a formal communication from the GAC prior and after the Management Letter was sent  concerning the ongoing audit of the NLA,   and therefore,  he could not  comment on the incessant media reports about  the  preliminary findings of  the audit, which paints a debauched  picture of the financial operations of the NLA  during the period under review. 

The report mentioned  that while the NLA Board Chair wholeheartedly welcomes  the audit of the NLA in keeping with  accountability and transparency, he added  that it would  have been  prudent  had the GAC formally  informed him and other members of the board,  including the NLA’s  Boss Kollie about the process, but maintained that nothing like that happened.

“I heard about the GAC Audit of the NLA’s Operations in the media and not from even the Management of the  entity. At least we supposed to be informed as it is traditionally done,” the media report, among other things, quoted Charlie via anonymous source as stating. 

So far, the NLA’s Boss Kollie   has  not commented on the media reports about  the preliminary findings of the audit  of the NLA . However, unconfirmed reports said he will comment on the   matter following rigorous consultations with his lawyers on account that he has no knowledge about the reported GAC audit of the NLA.       

On the other hand, this paper has established that the  GAC officially  communicated its audit  process to  Management of the NLA via the  Deputy NLA Boss, Mr.  Neved  P. Kortu, who was then acting as head of the entity during the suspension of MD Kollie, who  was reportedly  reinstated   recently by  the Executive Mansion .

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