Liberia: President George Weah Sets Up Committee To Replace The General Auditing Commission’s Two Deputy Auditors General
MONROVIA – President George Weah has setup a committee to recruit and replace the General Auditing Commission’s two long serving Deputy Auditor Generals, Mr. Winsley S. Nanka, Deputy Auditor General for Audit Service and Mr. Foday Kiazolu, Deputy Auditor General for Administration.
The committee was set up in a communication to the Civil Service Director General in October 2021, sources at the Civil Service Agency confirmed to FrontPageAfrica that the first meeting of the committee took place last week. The President’s letter, however, calls for the recruitment of three new Deputies at the GAC.
The President’s letter also stated that the committee should recruit the Director General of the Internal Audit Agency and the Deputy. The Director General of the Internal Audit Agency died mysteriously more than a year ago at his residence and the tenure of the Deputy has reportedly expired.
It is not clear what led to the replacement of the two experienced Government Auditors and why it took almost four months for the committee to hold its first meeting, but sources tell FrontPageAfrica that there has been intense debate within the President’s inner circle whether the two GAC deputies should be replaced or be reappointed to their positions.
Before the coming into force of the GAC Act of 2014, Deputies at the GAC were not tenured. Under the GAC Act of 2014, the Deputies have a tenure of five years subject to reappointment once.
Some advisors, according sources, argued that the two deputies have served for a long time and it is time to recruit their own people. While others say the audit profession comes with time and experience, the longer you stay in the profession the more experienced you are, therefore, the two deputies should be reappointed to continue the fight against fraud, waste and abuse in the Liberian Government.
Who Are the Two Deputy Auditor General?
Mr. Winsley S. Nanka has served at the GAC since 2008 as Deputy Auditor General under the leaderships of Auditor General John Morlu, Robert Kilby, Yusador Gaye and currently Garswa Jackson . He is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Fraud Examiner, with many years of experience in both the United States and Liberia in the private and public sectors.
According to Mr. Nanka’s profile on the GAC website, he has participated extensively in Liberia’s post-war public financial management initiatives. He has a very deep understanding of the role accountability and transparency play in good governance.
As the Deputy Auditor-General, he has played a significant role in the rebuilding of the General Auditing Commission on the basis of Chapter 53 of the Executive Law of 1972; 1977 LIMA Declarations, 2007 MEXICO Declarations, INTOSAI Standards and the GAC Act of 2014.
Mr. Nanka was appointed twice as Acting Auditor General of the Republic of Liberia during the administration of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, assuming the strategic direction of the General Auditing Commission.
Mr. Nanka has also represented the Auditor General for many years as the presenter of GAC audit reports to the National Legislature during public hearings.
He holds a BBA degree in Accounting, with minor in Economics from the University of Liberia, an MBA concentration in Finance from Eastern University and a Master of Science Degree in Accounting from Widener University – both in Pennsylvania, United States of America.
He is the holder of certificates/diplomas in various management training, workshops, and seminars, including Harvard University, American Management Association, as well as the Graduate School USA, among many others.
Mr. Foday G. Kiazolu’s profile shows that he is a Fellow of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants (FCCA), United Kingdom and a Member of the Liberian Institute of Certified Public Accountants (LICPA). He also holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) Degree in Accounting (Magna Cum Laude) from the United Methodist University (Liberia) and has certificates in Project Management, Team Management, Budgeting, and Crisis Management from the Harvard Manage Mentor Program.
Mr. Kiazolu served as Acting Deputy Auditor-General from September 2013 and was appointed Deputy Auditor General in February 2014. He has also worked with KPMG Ghana as an external auditor where he practiced for many years. Initially, Mr. Kiazolu worked as a Resident Internal Controller at Ecobank-Liberia Limited and World Bank hired resident Internal Auditor at the Ministry of Agriculture in charge of Donor funded projects.
Who are on the President’s Committee?
The Committee appointed by the President George Weah includes Presidential Legal Advisor, Mr. Archibald Bernard. Other members of the committee are the Director General of the Civil Service Agency, the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission, Governance Commission, Liberian Institute of Certified Public Accountants, a representative of civil society organizations, and the Auditor General of the Republic of Liberia.
Mr. Bernard’s membership on the committee, however, seems to violate the GAC Act of 2014, which Section 2.1.1(ii) says the Ad Hoc committee shall include the incumbent Auditor General, senior representatives of the Civil Service Commission, Anti-Corruption Commission, Governance Commission and a representative of Civil Society Organizations in good standing.
This is not the first that President Weah included Mr. Bernard in the recruitment of GAC executive in violation of the GAC Act of 2014. In April 2021, Cllr. Bernard led the recruitment of the current Auditor General when the late Auditor General Madam Yusador Gaye tenure expired.
The departure of the two experienced career Government Auditors, FrontPageAfrica has gathered is likely leave a big void in Libera’s quest to achieve accountability and transparency in the management of public resources years to come.