The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

For Failure To Audit Legislature: -Commissioner Risks Writ Of Mandamus

By Grace Q. Bryant
Nimba County District 7 lawmaker, Musa Bility, has threatened legal Writ of Mandamus against Commissioner Garswa Jackson, Auditor General, for failure to audit the Legislature.
Rep. Bility revealed a communication to the General Auditor Jackson on his Facebook page yesterday May 7, in which he requested the General Auditing Commission to audit the Legislature under Section 2.1.3© of the Act without acknowledging the authority of the Legislature and the President to request an audit as well, under Section 5.5 of the same 2014 GAC Act.
Section 5.5(a) States, “Generally, requests from outside the General Auditing Commission to the Auditor General to carry out audits or other work shall not be accepted except that in circumstances that members of the Legislature or the President makes a formal request to the Auditor General to carry out an audit or perform other works, the Auditor General shall consider such formal request to assess whether it is within the legal mandate of the General Auditing Commission, and if it could be carried out using resources within the approved budget of the General Auditing Commission.”
While (b) notes, “If the request is outside the legal mandate, the request shall be declined and, where appropriate, referred to another agency.
“If existing resources are insufficient to carry out this requested work, the request shall be accepted only if extra funding is provided to the GAC to carry it out.”
Rep. Bility furthered, “Mr. Auditor General, a systems review is not the same as an audit. Therefore, in our unbending quest to protect public funds and improve transparency and accountability, I hereby request the General Auditing Commission to audit (both statutory and performance) the Legislature from 2014- 2023, a period after the Amended GAC Act of 2014, covering the 53rd and 54th Legislatures,”
According to him, the failure of the GAC to grant the request despite the legal mandate and budget allocation of the GAC to conduct the same, as per the GAC Act of 2014, is a violation of the Act.
“Hence, we are left with no alternative but to seek legal advice and subsequent legal actions on this matter. As mentioned, we will not compromise our quest to ensure that the Legislature is audited and public funds are accounted for, as spent,” Rep. Bility assured.
He emphasized that as a member of the Legislature requesting an audit, the request for an audit of the Legislature excluding matters relating to the merits of legislation is squarely and legally within the scope of your legal mandate, which includes “audits of the Judicial Branch, excluding matters relating to court decisions and audits of the Legislative branch, excluding matters relating to the merits of legislation.”
He noted that Section 2.1.3 (b) (iii), 2014 Amended Act. Additionally, the audit as requested can be carried out using resources within the approved budget of the GAC, given that the draft 2024 budget presented to the Legislature has allotted US$1,288,250 million for Auditing Services out of the total GAC proposed budget of US$4,466,803 million.
“I will not hesitate to go above your office even if it requires seeking legal actions through a writ of mandamus, to compel you to perform your duties,” he disclosed.
He concluded, “Given your response, it is apparent that the GAC has no intention of conducting an audit of the National Legislature from 2014-2023 as requested.”

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.