Audit Reveals Unapproved Disbursements by Central Bank of Liberia for 2019 Independence Day Celebrations

Audit Reveals Unapproved Disbursements by Central Bank of Liberia for 2019 Independence Day Celebrations
Audit Reveals Unapproved Disbursements by Central Bank of Liberia for 2019 Independence Day Celebrations

Africa-Press – Liberia. In 2019, around the July 26 Independence Celebration, the Central Bank of Liberia made several disbursements totaling US$730,000 to the Liberia National Police, the National Security Agency, and the Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs without any approved policy.

An audit by the General Auditing Commission (GAC), the nation’s supreme audit body, discovered that on July 24, 2019, US$200,000 was disbursed to the Liberia National Police as the Bank’s contribution for the July 26 celebration. On July 23, US$300,000 was disbursed to the Ministry of State for the same purpose. Additionally, US$80,000 was disbursed by the Bank to the National Security Agency (NSA) for “special security operations.”

These disbursements took place in 2019 when the Bank was in transition, with Deputy Governor Nyemadi D. Pearson (Operations) in charge of the Bank, FrontPageAfrica gathered. The Deputy Govenor for Operations also oversees all financial transactions/disbursements of the Bank.

The GAC’s audit observed that these amounts were unsolicited by the receiving entities, which could be a recipe for financial malpractices.

“During the audit, we observed that without an approved policy, management made several material unsolicited payments to institutions and individuals in excess of approved amounts,” the audit noted.

The General Auditing Commission highlighted that the Bank’s management must provide explanations with supporting documentation for making these payments without budgetary allocations. The GAC also recommended that the Bank’s management should, in its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy, describe what payments are allowed under CSR programs and place a threshold for different levels to ensure safeguards against management’s override and abuse of the program.

FrontPageAfrica gathered that these disbursements were made when the current Governor of the Bank had yet to be appointed by the former President.

The audit is part of an ongoing audit commissioned by President Joseph Boakai, which covers the six-year period of former President George Weah’s administration (2018 to 2023).

It can be recalled that in April this year, the Governor of the Central Bank, J. Alloysius Tarlue, was asked by President Boakai not to form part of the delegation for the Spring Meeting in Washington, D.C., in order to assist with the forensic audit of the Bank.

The President’s directive followed a request from Governor Tarlue seeking approval from the President for the travel of himself along with Mr. James B. Dennis, a Board member, Madam Nyemadi Pearson, Deputy Governor for Operations, and Mr. Musa Dukuly, Deputy Governor for Economic Policy.

“The President has given approval for members of the delegation, but given the ongoing forensic audit endorsed by the International Monetary Fund and the Government audit commissioned by the General Auditing Commission at the Central Bank, the President directs that you stay in the country,” stated the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Sylvester Grigsby, in a communication to the Governor.

Executive Mansion sources familiar with the development informed FrontPageAfrica that the President’s decision to ask Governor Tarlue not to attend the Spring Meeting is due to the near completion of the forensic audit, which might necessitate the Governor being present to provide some clarity to the President.

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