Liberia: Internal Audit Finds Financial Improprieties at National Transit Authority

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Monrovia – FrontPageAfrica has obtained a copy of an internal audit report from the National Transit Authority (NTA) which indicates that the Managing Director, Herbie McCauley, was allegedly involved in financial improprieties.

The audit was conducted on the procurement of spare parts for the Hyundai and Ashok Layland buses that the Government of Liberia provided US$200,000 to repair.

The audit revealed that without seeking the consent of the Public Procurement Concession Commission (PPCC), the management of NTA sole source spare parts from Ghana and Dubai. Accordingly, the NTA paid US$40,000 to Hyundai and Ashok Leyland GH for spare part; however, the amount was not routed through the NTA’s internal audit department for pre-disbursement compliance review.

“Technology has made it easy that the spare parts could have been ordered online without incurring approximately US$10,000 as travel expenses for the Managing Director who traveled to Ghana and Dubai to purchase the spare parts,” the audit report revealed.

The document reveals that the Managing Director, Mr. Herbie McCauley, did not obtain permission from the office of the President authorizing his travel as required by the travel ordinance.

Several attempts by FrontPageAfrica to get comments from McCauley did not materialize up to press time Sunday evening.

McCauley, according to the report, did not route the purchase of his plane ticket and Daily Sustenance Allowance (DSA) through the internal audit department to enable the department advice management appropriately.

However, despite traveling to Accra and Dubai purposely to buy spare parts, it was established that some of the spare parts were purchased right in Liberia upon his return.

The audit report: “Management has so far paid over US$20,000 to a local vendor (Obi Standard) for the supply of spare parts, without routing the LPO’s and payment vouchers through the internal audit department for appropriate advice. As a result, the vendor (Obi Standard) was not selected through a National Competitive Bidding (NCB) process; rather, Management split the procurement to enable the use of Request for Quotation (RFQ) method which is in violation of Part IV of Section 40.3 of the PPCC Act.”

The audit further realized that cheque No. 00510510 (voucher No. 954) with the amount of US$6,886 was paid to the procurement manager without routing through the internal audit department. The Procurement Manager encashed the cheque and wired the amount via Western Union to the Managing Director instead of paying directly to the spare part company to ensure transparency and accountability.

The Deputy Managing Director for Operations, according to the audit report, made the NTA to underwrite traveling expenses to Ghana for the purchase of the same spare parts.

“The Internal Audit Depart, as per its mandate, has flagged these missteps to draw management’s attention for appropriate adjustments/correction actions to improve the entity’s compliance culture as the conditions noted do not only contravene the NTA’s internal policies, but they also contravene provisions of the Public Procurement and Concession Act and could lead to sanctions under the act,” the Internal Audit report noted.

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