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Civil Society Network Wants New Investigation For LWSC…Says GAC’s Findings Are Unclear

The Civil Society Network of Liberia has termed the recent audit report of the General Auditing Commission (GAC) on the Liberia Water & Sewer Corporation (LWSC) as recklessly judgmental and ineffective.
The Civil Society Network in its release issued on Sunday, August 29, 2021, described the Auditor General’s report as contradictory, confusing and a classic attempt to cover up the truth and deny the public what it needs to hear and know about the troubled Liberia Water & Sewer Corporation.
CSNL wondered why and how the GAC would clearly identify and admit to the grave issue of non-compliance to the terms of the contract and yet choose to be blindly judgmental by concluding that the non-compliance and other major missteps discovered do not amount to significant fraud.
The civil society network further termed the GAC’s Audit report as totally disappointing and intolerable and called on President Weah to set up a new independent investigative panel to include forensic audit that would dig into the corruption saga at the LWSC and bring out the truth.
CSNL says it is further disappointed in the GAC for not contacting or involving the current acting management of the LWSC during the audit, something the group described as calculated and intentional.
The Civil Society Network maintained that local and international confidence still eludes the Liberia Water & Sewer Corporation and called on President Weah to see the confidence crisis as very critical to the survival of the entity and the water sector of Liberia.
The CSNL has vowed to join forces with other pro-democracy and anti-corruption institutions to press for total independence and professional investigation into the corruption saga of the LWSC with the view of establishing the truth and allow the law to take its course.
The GAC recently concluded its report on the Compliance Audit of the Consulting Service Contract between the Liberia Water & Sewer Corporation and Hydroconseil for the period August 2019 to April 2020, in keeping with the June 10, 2021 request of President George Weah.
The President conducted an investigative compliance audit at the LWSC, following speculations and accusations of corruption relative to a service contract involving Managing Director Duannah Kamara and Deputy Managing Director Sensee Morris for which the pair are serving suspension pending the outcome of the audit.
The President’s request to the GAC also captured a special investigative audit of the expenditure of US$99, 000 relating to a consulting service contract between LWSC and Hydroconseil, a French Company.
The Auditor General’s report states that the procurement for the service contract was done in keeping with World Bank Procurement guidelines and the service contract was for a period of five months, beginning October 2019 to February, 2020, provided consulting services for the studies, designed and prepared tender documents for the construction of civil and mechanical works to provide water delivery to Paynesville and Central Monrovia.
The report clearly stated that there was no evidence of evaluation reports by the project engineer to validate deliverables completed by the contractor from the inception to the completion of the project as required by the service contract, and that payments by Hydroconseil to LWSC were not consistent with contract terms and said payments were transferred to a bank account in France not authorized in the service contract.
The Auditor General’s report also states that it was observed that the Management of LWSC only issued certification memorandum which does not clearly detail the extent of the evaluation performed; and by verification, stage-by-stage deliverables contained in the service contract were delivered upon by the contractor (Hydroconseil).
The report revealed that the requisite procurement processes for the award of the contract were in compliance with the World Bank Procurement guidelines in all material respect.
The AG’s report claims that it was established that no significant evidence of fraud was brought to the GAC’s attention or discovered during the performance of the audit, though issues of non-compliance to the terms of the service contract were identified but in GAC’s conclusion, those issues do not amount to fraud.

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