Africa-Press – Liberia. United States Ambassador Michael A. McCarthy has paid a courtesy call on Auditor General P. Garswa Jackson as part of his acquaintance meetings with various stakeholders among anti-graft Institutions in the fight against corruption in the Public Sector.
The Meeting between the two officials seeks to strengthen continual partnership between the United States Government and the General Auditing Commission in its efforts to promote accountability of public resources across National Government.
The General Auditing Commission in a Statement issued in Monrovia today, said the meeting focused on a wide range of issues including familiarizing the Ambassador with the mandate and functions of the GAC, challenges hampering the institution operations, measures to mitigate those challenges and the strategic vision of the institution.
AG Jackson assured Ambassador McCarthy of the GAC’s commitment to enhanced integrity, transparency and professionalism in the conduct of audits of public fund. He noted that the GAC is currently exerting substantial efforts in strengthening quality assurance initiatives to expand the quality of audits, piloting an audit software to drive audit efficiency and discussing with the Legislature for increase in budgetary allotment to aid the GAC expand its audit coverage and frequency, as well as operationalize the GAC’s financial independence.
The Auditor General further emphasized the importance of fostering strong collaboration with other Anti-Graft Institutions to strengthen prevention of fraud through compliance with the national financial management laws and regulations as well as enforcing the implementation of GAC’s audit recommendation, particularly leveraging on the Internal Audit Agency presence at GoL Ministries and Agencies. He further discussed the GAC’s relationship with the Liberia Anti-corruption Commission (LACC) to include the existence of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) reference to an Asset Declaration of public officials, alerting the LACC on issues of fraud during and after audits and sharing of the Auditor General’s reports. He noted that the GAC is currently piloting a project titled “Citizen Eye”, which will serve as an informed national platform for championing whistleblowing activities in Liberia. He noted that the project once finalized will be operationalize with the collaboration of the LACC. The Auditor General also highlighted the importance of preparation of financial reports in Government as a key tool for facilitating transparency and accountability Government and was delighted to announce that progress has been made with the Office of the Comptroller General to incentive the mandatory preparation of financial statements by all Government Ministries and Agencies. In conclusion, AG Jackson told Ambassador McCarthy that the GAC is gearing up to enhance external communication and stakeholders’ engagement, expand IT and digital technology in the audit processes, plans to acquire its head office and training facility subject to availability of funds and will be glad if the US Government could aid in sourcing funds for some of these major projects.
In remarks, Ambassador Michael McCarthy described the work of the Commission as inspiring and comprehensive and assured the Auditor General of the United States Government’s commitment to supporting the Commission in mitigating some of the challenges being experienced at the Commission.
This is Ambassador McCarthy first visit to the GAC since his assignment to Liberia.