Nimba Citizens Raise Alarm Over GAC’s Audit Report

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Auditor General, Yusador S. Gaye

The report of the General Auditing Commission (GAC) relating to Nimba County’s Social Development Funds (SDF) from 2011 to 2013 is apparently creating an alarming debate among citizens of Nimba in and out of county.

The accountability of the SDF by the past leadership is creating a heated argument in Nimba County, with many concerned citizens calling on the Nimba Legislative Caucus to investigate the abandoned audit report. Some citizens have called on radio talk shows to express disappointment in the current leadership of the Project Management Committee (PMC).

It is widely believed that the tenure of the past leadership have elapsed, but the GAC audit report has been left in the cold without any investigation to hold the culprits for alleged mismanagement and theft.

The GAC report, titled, “On Nimba County Social and County Development Funds for the Fiscal Year 2011/2012 and 2012 /2013”, was signed by Auditor General, Yusador S. Gaye.

   It is reported that some concerned citizens are seriously mobilizing and engaging the Nimba Legislative Caucus to ensure that those involved with the alleged mismanagement and theft are brought to justice.

 According to the GAC report, the Project Management Committee (PMC) is responsible for the alleged mismanagement of the County Social Development Funds (CSDF). The report named several individuals who managed the affairs of the county, including Christiana D. Dagadu, former Superintendent; Edith  Gongloe-Weh, former Superintendent; Teeko T. Yorlay, Assistant Superintendent for Development; Clinton G. Layweh, Project specialist; Edwin F. Kruah, PMC Chairman; Peterson G.N. Walker, PMC Comptroller [last Chairman whose tenure just expired]; among others.

According to the Auditor General’s report, findings conveyed in the report were formally communicated to the Nimba County Administration for their responses. She stated in a letter, “Giving the significance of the matters raised in this report, we urged the Hon. Speaker and members of the Hose of Representatives and the President Pro-Tempore and members of the Liberian Senate to consider the implementation of the recommendations conveyed herein with urgency”. 

   Findings and recommendations from the GAC report include violation of the PPC Act in awarding contract, projects approved without PPCC requirement, unsupported payment to Nimba County Community College (NCC), repeated payment voucher numbers, third party payment, contract without bid, scholarship awarded without policy, unsupported withdrawals, among others.

   The report revealed, “During the fiscal periods 2011/2012 and 2012/2013, Nimba County Administration received amount of US$800,000.00 as Social Development fund (SDF). The SDF had an opening bank balance of US$2,239,835.08.  The total cash available as SDF during the audit periods amounted to US$3,039,835.08. The county received US$200,000.00 as County Development Fund. A deposit of US$53,797.30 was also deposited in the CDF account. The opening balance in the CDF amount was US$351, 623.51. Therefore, the total amount available as CDF during the audit periods was US$ 605,420.81.”

   Section   held the PMC liable because they failed to disclose sources of funding.  The said section stated, “The PMC’s failure to disclose its sources of  income could lead to theft and abuse of  public funds, while the follow-up sections recommended that the PMC disclose a source of US$16,293.00 and US$53,797.30 deposited in the SDF account.”

   The audit also stated, “We also observed that a series of disbursements, amounting to US$1,114,663.60 were made from the SDF account maintained at the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) without supporting documentations.”

   However, since the audit was reported about the SDF, there has been no other audit report from the past leadership and no accountability to ease the growing debate among the citizens of Nimba County for the Social Development Funds.

   Report has it that, during the last county sitting in Sanniquille, Nimba County, the PMC’s report to the County council was resisted by majority of the delegates on ground that the report was flooded with discrepancies. The report was seized by the presiding, who established a committee to review the document, but up to present there has been no further common ground to ease the growing debate.

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