Liberia: Source – GAC Awaiting Finance Ministry’s Response to Complete US$25M Probe; Govt. Sets Date
Monrovia – Liberians will have to wait a few more days to catch a glimpse of the findings of a General Auditing Commission’s investigation into the expenditure of U.S. $25 million – intended to mop up excess liquidity from the Liberian market – will be fully complete by May 20, 2019.
The government through the Ministry of Information, Culture Affairs and Tourism (MICAT) announced Tuesday that the report is yet to be completed, dismissing multiple social media reports suggesting that the GAC had submitted its findings to the President.
In a statement Tuesday, the MICAT statement said the GAC, which is the body conducting the forensic audit as mandated by President George M. Weah, was initially given a two-week mandate to submit its report. However, at the commission’s request, that time frame was extended by an additional six weeks.
Said the government’s statement:” In keeping with the engagement procedure agreed upon for the conduct of the audit, the GAC is now holding “exit meetings” following the submission of its draft report on May 2, 2019. Hence, additional ten days have been granted the commission by the Ministry of Justice to allow for the full completion of the audit.”
“In keeping with the engagement procedure agreed upon for the conduct of the audit, the GAC is now holding “exit meetings” following the submission of its draft report on May 2, 2019. Hence, additional ten days have been granted the commission by the Ministry of Justice to allow for the full completion of the audit.”
In early March, the President mandated the GAC to carry out an investigation into how the mop-up of excess Liberian dollars from the market was carried out by the Technical Economic Management Team. The Government assures the public of its determination to get to the bottom of the matter and make the findings public.
Meanwhile a source at the GAC confirmed to FPA late Tuesday that much of the report has been completed but Minster Samuel D. Tweah and his team had asked for more time to respond. “The guys asked for additional days to respond to the draft. Their response will be evaluated before the final report is issued,” the source, speaking on condition of anonymity said Tuesday.
In February, a report by Kroll, an independent forensic investigation team funded by the United States government found discrepancies in the US$25 mopping up exercise. “Kroll was not provided with documentation setting out how the USD Mop-Up Exercise was structured or implemented, or which organizations were targeted by the CBL,” the report said.
In July 2018, President Weah announced that USD 25.0 million would be “infused” into the Liberian economy to “mop-up” excess LRD banknotes in an attempt to address the depreciation of the Liberian Dollar. At the time the Liberian leader said the infusion of US$25 million into the Liberian economy would help stabilize the exchange rate in the volatile money market.