–To Assuage ‘Doubt of Irregularities
By Reuben Sei Waylaun
The Director General of the Internal Audit Agency (IAA) has announced that the entity has concluded resource mobilization with the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning for the contracting of a certified public accounting firm to audit the books of the agency.
Mr. Emmanuel B. Nyeswa, DG of IAA
Addressing a news conference Monday February 10, 2020, Emmanuel B. Nyeswa said the decision is in fulfillment of the IAA’s top priorities for the fiscal period relating to payroll verification aimed at heightening fiscal probity in public governance.
This, he said will include the IAA’s payroll for the period under his stewardship. The decision is a requirement under the IAA Act of 2013, section 8. 2 (Books of Accounts) and its attending regulation.
DG Nyeswa further maintains that the goal of the exercise is to present rigorous analysis of the Internal Audit Agency’s operations. While at the same time vouch for its system of internal controls in order to assuage ‘doubt of irregularities’ moving forward.
The audit of the agency’s activities is expected to be completed within 60 days to include procurement, audit and publications of said report according to the IAA boss.
According to the IAA boss, they will soon proceed in keeping with public procurement procedures with the publications of Expressions of Interest in the local dailies as well as official websites requesting qualified independent public accounting institutions to participate in what he calls ‘professional exercise.’
“The move further justifies our unfettered commitment and determined will, as an anti-graft institution to ensure good governance in the public sector by instituting systems and control as a way of guaranteeing fiscal probity in the expenditure of public resources,” DG Nyeswa said in a statement.
He further added “the Internal Audit Agency for the period under review embarked on a nationwide payroll cleaning exercise involving the health, education, internal affairs ministries and security sector among others.”
The referenced audits, he said some are still ongoing. But said this has greatly helped the Liberian Government in saving millions in United States Dollars from ghosts paddling on the government’s payroll for years, which he said will be redeployed to other productive sectors.
“While these significant efforts are ongoing with the goals of strengthening accountability in the expenditure of public resources, we are of the considered opinion that opening the financial books of the IAA to an independent public account scrutiny will serve the greater good of toughening our resolve to improve the overall internal control environment as well as the operational performances of entities of the Government of Liberia,” DG Nyeswa added.
The IAA is meanwhile craving the fullest support and cooperation of all concerned in the performance of what he calls ‘worthwhile exercise’ to enable the institution continuously execute its mandate of providing assurances that financial and operational activities of government are in compliance with applicable laws, policies, standards and procedures.
Meanwhile, Director General Nyeswa has announced that the Liberian Government will constitute a national payroll cleanup taskforce in the next few weeks, saying the IAA will play a major lead in said taskforce.
“The government is determined to complete this process before the start of the new budget process and it will comprise all government institutions in all of the counties,” he concluded.