Tuesday, May 18, 2010

"Liberian Government cannot account for over US$50 million"

I’ll Quit If…

Festus Poquie

Auditor General of Liberia Morlu Challenges Govt.

Auditor General, Mr. John Morlu: "Liberian Government cannot account for over US$50 million, which his reports indicated was expended without supporting documentations".

The Auditor General, Mr. John Morlu, says he is prepared to resign if the Government is prepared to hire international auditors to prove that his findings on unaccounted for millions at the various ministries he has audited in compliance with the HIPC (Heavily Indebted poor countries) requirement are wrong.

His vow to step down should the government account via independent international audits for millions it has allegedly misappropriated follows series of counter-claims from officials, with the President declaring that she needed more evidence to act on the audits.

In an interview with this paper, the Auditor General said the government cannot account for over US$50 million, which his reports indicated was expended without supporting documentations.

“If the Government of Liberia can account, I resign; they cannot account,” Mr. Morlu said, noting that impunity was at its peak with corruption being jealously protected and corrupt officials bribing to avoid prosecution.

On the aggregate, he said that the government is not transparent and accountable.

“. The truth is that if the Government of Liberia, if they can account for the 3m General Claims that they reportedly spent, if they can account for the 21m that was reported in 2006/2007; 2007/2008, we are talking about almost US$ 50m plus. If they can account for that, I will resign and I will ask the European Union, I will pay the money back, which they have used to pay me over the years. They cannot account.”

He noted that the country is being built on a corrupt principle and that democracy will not flourish once accountability is lacking.

Mr. Morlu described as “window dressing talks” government’s Poverty Reduction Program and adaptation of international financial system noting the real issue is “accounting for public monies”.

This, he said, once done will lead to more employment and improvement in living standards. “People must get away from big talking, big mouth and do the real things”.

He said those objecting to his audit reports have failed to provide material justification for their respective transaction and have thus reverted to “blame game”.

“Have you ever seen the criminal say the policeman is a nice guy? They will always say the police are corrupt, the police are incompetent, and the police are unfair and so forth. So I do not expect the auditees to praise me. In fact, if they begin to praise me, then I will quit. I do my work; I do it based on INTOSAI standards; nobody throughout their entire arguments, their press releases, their press conferences, I have not seen anybody substantially argued against the facts. All they are saying is yes, we did it but blame the system, blame this person, blame that person.

It is nothing but a blame game so I cannot get involve in that I know, the audits stand on the merits and the best standards and that my reports are constitutional documents and they live on for 20 years or 100 years, whether somebody act on it today, somebody will act on it tomorrow because in Ghana, Argentina, in Guinea and other countries, audit reports have languished for years.

“Corruption is being protected. It is the foundation upon which this country was built that people believe that the best way to get rich, the most quickest and surest way to prosperity is government job. It is a fundamental believe in this country, it has to change. Other than that, you are building a democracy on a corrupt foundation and corruption fails.

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Inside Liberia with Bernard Gbayee Goah

Everyone is a genius

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – A Einstein

Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country's brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people - Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward ...

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability - Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah


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