• Sun. Nov 28th, 2021

Liberia: “WFP is above the audit of the General Audit Commission” – Auditor General reveals US $ 25 million stimulus saga

ByNichole W. Barclay

Jun 18, 2021

MONROVIA – The World Food Program is at the center of the controversy surrounding the responsibility of the US $ 25 million received for the distribution of food and other items to offset the lockdown triggered by covid-19. Unfortunately, the General Audit Commission says it does not have the mandate to audit the UN body.

In a communication to the Senate, the GAC, through its Auditor General, Madam Yusador Gaye, said that United Nations member Liberia joined other members at the General Assembly in appointing a supreme audit institution responsible for carrying out independent audits of its agencies.

“If it is not expressly stated in the memorandum of understanding or contract that the country’s supreme audit institution, which is the GAC, must audit, the country’s SAI cannot audit the agency. United Nations. I have examined the memorandum of understanding and consequently, the auditor of the first president of the French Court of Auditors is the auditor of the WFP until June 30, 2022 ”, indicated the auditor.

The Auditor General further revealed that she advised the Minister of Finance and explained the concept of auditing UN agencies at the time of signing the MoU with WFP that if the GAC is supposed to audit the PAM, it must be clearly stated in the MOU.

She said that under today’s funding and payments ceiling, point 6 makes it clear that the audit arrangement must follow the routine UN audit requirements.

The Liberian Senate plenary session in May mandated the General Audit Commission to audit the World Food Program and the government committee that led the $ 30 million COVID-19 stimulus package.

A motion by Grand Bassa County Senator Nyonblee Kangar Lawrence urged the GAC to audit the process and report to the Senate Public Accounts Committee as soon as possible.

Majority members of the Liberian Senate called a report by Professor Wilson Tarpeh, chairman of the Presidential Covid-19 task force, in which he claimed 2.3 million people received a stimulus package, a figure unrealistic. which represents 92% of targeted recipients.

As part of a Covid-19-induced lockdown, the government saw the need to support vulnerable families whose lives have been affected by the pandemic by setting up a special presidential task force.

The lawmaker approved a $ 25 million stimulus package to provide food to vulnerable communities in collaboration with the World Food Program (WFP), offset loans to vulnerable traders and pay utility bills for some households, between others.

Suspicion of spending over $ 25 million by members of the Senate on the application and distribution of the stimulus package has become a popular position with most senators who have said that the only way to have a comprehensive response is to their concerns was to invite WFP.

Appearing before the Senate on Thursday, Professor Tarpeh said the 2.3 million people who received the stimulus package were those whose lives were ravaged by the lockdown.