GAC Uncovers Fraud
The Director of Government Fund Audits at the General Auditing Commission (GAC) Mr. Edward B. Tolbert has indicated that government is looking into how to retrieve government revenues misappropriated by certain individuals through the duplication of flag receipts at the Free Port of Monrovia.
He observed that the GAC has uncovered a large number of ‘fake’ Flag receipts that have been issued by unscrupulous business individuals while processing their goods at the Port.
Mr. Tolbert made the disclosure yesterday when he addressed the regular Ministry of Information Press briefing, adding that auditing is simply a validating process.
Among entities that he said they have audited include: LEITI, the William V.S. Tubman University, University of Liberia, NOCAL, LTC, Ministry of Public Works and the Ministry of Finance.
He indicated that they have had challenges all along in identifying where government money comes from and where it goes. He said consolidated auditing is their overall strategy and they have presented a document to the Ministry of Finance and are working on issues to be addressed.
“Our special investigation has to do with the Bureau of Customs and Excise of the Ministry of Finance involving the issuance of fake receipts. Our investigation team regards this as an economic crime. We have got them and want the law to prosecute them,” he said.
The Auditor said they conduct audit of institutions without any preconceived notion, noting that they are working at the Excise Department to see how the system is going on.
“We are conducting audit on them, to come out with a report,” he said.
Speaking at the end of the GAC boss’ presentation, Minister of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT) Lewis G. Brown ll explained that all of what the GAC is doing in the country is not directed at witch-hunting but to put in place a system that works so that people must be conscious of what they do.
“We want to begin to build a system of validation in the country. The projects going on in the country are not for government, but for the people of Liberia. We want to invest in projects that will have multiple benefit and impact on the lives of the people of this country over time,” he said.
The Information boss cited as an example Ghana where hard decisions were taken by past Ghanaian leaders. He said there were times in the past when Ghanians used to stand in lines to purchase basic commodities, but now things are better in that country.
Minister Brown said everyone is happy that street lights are once again reappearing on the streets of Monrovia. Writes John Momoh.