Full Text: Ambulah Mamey, one of the panelists on Spoon Talk, a late-night talk show, claimed that since the General Auditing Commission was established in 2014, the entity has not been audited.
“The GAC that is responsible for conducting audits should be audited every year since 2005; to date, there is no publicly available record that the GAC is being audited.”
The claim is between one hour, twenty-six seconds, and thirty-eight minutes to one hour, twenty-seven minutes.
The GAC was created by an Act of the National Legislature in 1956, amended under Charter 53, Sections 1–10 of the Executive Law of 1972, establishing the commission as an independent agency within the Executive Branch. Its basic functions included ensuring transparency, accountability, fiscal discipline, and economic management of government funds and resources.
The GAC as a public advocacy institution, plays a major role in ensuring transparency, accountability, and a high degree of professionalism in the management of the affairs of the state by the various government institutions.
The GAC principally focuses on programs to fight waste, fraud, and abuse
The primary duty of the GAC will consist of auditing public operations and providing the government and the legislature with independent, unbiased advice to ensure proper and efficient management of public funds. In this regard, the GAC will conduct performance audits of the departments and agencies of the government. It will carry out financial audits of the government’s financial statements (public accounts). It will also perform special examinations as well as annual financial audits of public corporations and other entities that fall within the purview of vested public interests and functions.
Verification: The Act requests that the institution report to the Legislature. The three reports will consist of:
1. Annual reports on GAC activities, including statements on the nation’s annual accounts and key audit observations and recommendations;
2. Statutory reports on compliance with government regulations and laws, reporting observations, deviations, and recommendations;
3. Special reports as deemed necessary by the legislature; and
4. Prepare for the President, Legislature, and the public three quarterlies and an annual Uniform Accountability Report (UAR).
According to its act, the GAC cannot be audited by itself or any Liberian institution but must instead be audited by a supreme audit institution.
To verify the claim, we checked the GAC’’s website and established that it has a column of annual audits from 2013 to 2014.
The most recent annual audit was completed in 2010, and it was published in 2016.
Our Research also showed that a 2016 audit by Kenya Auditor General Ouko on the GAC from 2009–2013 was extremely corrupt and failed to comply with rules governing international financial best practices”. With this very loose proposition, one wonders as to what kind or type of audit Mr. Ouko conducted.
The report was, however, not made public, even though John Morlu, former Auditor General, requested a copy.
Furthermore, in response to our inquiry, the GAC, through its communication department, stated that the GAC has undergone financial statement audits in recent years, the most recent being in 2022 by the Audit Service of Sierra Leone (ASSL), in accordance with international best practices.
The department confirmed that there is no compliance or performance audit but an appraisal known as peer review is done, which is not on the website.
According to the department, the Auditor General of the GAC, P. Garswa Jackson, said during his tenure that the GAC will continue to be audited in as much as it receives public funds to conduct audits.
Conclusion: The claim that the GAC has not been audited is incorrect. The GAC annual report shows that the GAC has been audited.