Put Your Acts Together!
In recent time, one of Liberia’s anti-graft institution, the Liberia Anti- Corruption Commission (LACC) has be engulfed with allegations of corruption with finger pointing from the employees and the Vice Chairperson, Cllr. Augustine Toe in the directions of the Executive Chairperson another astute Legal luminary, Cllr. James N. Verdier, who is believed has the requisite credential to fight corruption and its vices.
The unfortunate episode is unfolding at a time when Liberia is beginning to steer and chronicle its democratic achievements which encompasses the peaceful transfer of political power, the integrity fight against corruption, the rule of law and the building of several other anti-graft institutions to the standing ovation of the sub-region, Liberia’s development partners and the entire International Community.
It all started following an email exchange between the Vice Chairperson and the Executive Chairperson relative to the LACC head involvement with the Institutions’ comptroller to allegedly mismanage LACC’s operational fund which was disbursed from the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFPD), leaving major things unattended to at the integrity institution.
At a news conference Last Tuesday, the LACC head said, “We confirm that such exchange took place and we invited Cllr. Toe to a meeting along with the documentation and evidence to support his claims. After a meeting with me in which we strongly rejected, refuted and denied his claims, we agreed that we will continue to work as a team and an institution to deliver our mandate.”
The LACC Chairperson denied that at no time did he engage in a reckless or clandestine mismanagement of LACC’s finances nor did he manipulate his administrative processes. He noted that the LACC business process has always been open to the public and his administration had submitted quarterly and annual financial reports in conformity with the Pubic Financial Management law.
He further disclosed that his administration has also submitted Budget Performance report to the national Legislature and the Commission has been audited by the GAC for a three-year period and the Financial System of the LACC was assessed by More Stevens, a private auditor. “Again, we are open and ready for an audit of our financial records. That is why, we have invited the GAC to conduct an Audit of our financial records and we believe that this audit should be underway,” Cllr. Verdier said.
He denied misusing the remittance of employees, the LACC Operational funds and other corruption allegations levied against him by Cllr. Augustine Toe and called on the GAC to hasten the audit of the LACC in a bid to restore the institution’s integrity.
With things getting out of hand at this institution, we are calling on the leadership at the LACC to put their acts together in an orderly manner and settle the dust by fully cooperating with the General Audit Commission (GAC) to conduct a forensic audit of that anti-graft institution and bring relief to its image.
In administration, there will always be personal differences but at such an integrity institution, transparency and accountability should continue to be the order of the day, so as to engender credibility. It is time that all concerned fight hard to uphold the integrity of the institution instead of fighting to bring it into public repute to the detriment of the country. It is sadden that at this time in Liberia’s history such an institution will be engulfed with corruption instead of fighting corruption and as such all must now be done furtively to restore that lost image of the LACC.