WATERED DOWN GAC POSES CREDIBILITY PROBLEMS FOR UP
The quest for Departing Auditor General John Morlu’s replacement must be rigorous and thorough and must involve the support of the international community which has been there for Liberia through thick and thin.
THE CIVIL SERVICES AGENCY has finally unveiled its job vacancy posting for the next Auditor General of the General Auditing Commission and the requirements and qualifications for applicants are already generating debate as to who will replace the controversial John S. Morlu.
IT IS NO secret that Morlu’s relationship with the government got off to a rocked start and never recovered.
FROM THE MOMENT, the AG declared that the administration was three-times more corrupt than its predecessors, it was clear that Morlu was in for a fight.
IN THE DAYS after his declaration, the GAC became embroiled in a war-of-words with officials of government, dissatisfied at the comparison to its predecessors, the National Transitional Government of Liberia(NTGL) headed by Charles Gyude Bryant.
KEEN OBSERVERS of the saga between Morlu and the government immediately took notice that the government, in its job posting broke away completely from the rigorous process which landed Morlu the job when the European Union conducted the search shortly after the 2005 Presidential elections.
INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS HAVE TAKEN notice. A senior diplomat who spoke confidentially to FrontPageAfrica Tuesday said vacancy announcement showed that the administration is proving its critics right that it has lost the war on corruption. “It validates all the negative press and hits that the government has taken,” the diplomat, said on condition of anonymity.
THE RIGOROUS process was utilized in the first search for an Auditor General for post-war Liberia after international partners concluded that it was necessary to have an independent-minded Auditor General to bolster the post-war government’s financial management system.
NOW IT APPEARS, the CSA and the government has made the process so simple that the position may lost its luster in the aftermath of Morlu.
FOR EXAMPLE, the EU required that candidate for the position demonstrate a minimum of 15 years practical experience in the management and organization of professional audit teams and in conducting comprehensive audits of public institutions, ministries, agencies and other similar bodies.
IN CONTRAST, the CSA requirements call for a minimum of ten years of working experience; three of which must have been at the senior management level in public service, a minimum first degree in Accounting, Management or related discipline from a recognized accredited university., a Masters degree, preferably MBA from a recognized, accredited university; CPA, CA CFE, CMA or equivalent evaluation certification would be an added advantage.
WHILE IT IS CLEAR that Morlu’s contract has not been renewed and both the government and the departing AG are going their separate ways, it is important, that the government, going forward, ensures that its credibility is not hurt in the international community along the way.
MORLU’S AUDITS, however unpopular they may be to those subjected to investigation must be thoroughly implemented to the fullest.
THE QUEST for his replacement must be rigorous and thorough and must involve the support of the international community which has been there for Liberia through thick and thin.
WE BELIEVE in no small measure that the route the government is about to take is not in the best interest of Liberia and if not corrected now, could come back to haunt Liberia and the major players of the current administration, whose legacy could rise or fall on the missteps it has embarked on today.
THE GOVERNMENT’S failure to heed to this painful truth could lead to a serious setbacks and withdrawal from international partners, still a bit wary about the government’s political will to tackles the scourge that remains its most potent Achilles in this election year.