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Discrepancy Looms!

-As TEMT Woes Deepen; Gives US$15m To 281 Businesses, Some Not Registered, Not Confirmed GAC Report

The General Auditing Commission (GAC) of Liberia has released the much-anticipated audit report on the US$25million intended for Mop-Up Exercise carried out by the Technical Economic Management Team (TEMT) between the Period July 17, 2018 to March 21, 2019, but with questionable findings.

In a report signed by Yusador S. Gaye, Auditor-General, the GAC said it requested documents related to the beneficiaries of the US$25million Mop Up Exercise from the CBL, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Liberia Business Registry to determine the legitimacy of the beneficiaries.

According to the GAC, it also confirmed prior to the field visit the name, location and contact of each beneficiary as per the List submitted to the entity by the CBL.

“For the period July 17 to October 26, 2018, CBL recorded US$15 million as the amount sold to 281 businesses and foreign exchange bureaus by direct mop-up while US$2,000,000.00 was recorded as the amount sold to TOTAL Liberia Inc., through a special auction,” the GAC recorded.

The entity also said “the following exceptions were noted during the field visit, there were 15 entities with the amount of US$491,769.00 listed by the CBL, but indicated that they did not participate in the Mop-Up Exercise. Twenty-seven entities that received US$ 702,680.00 participated in the Mop Up Exercise per CBL Records, but not registered per Liberia Business Registry Records.  Fifty-two entities that received US$1,092,292.00 participated in the Mop Up Exercise per CBL Records, but did not answer or reply to our telephone calls and text messages. Eight entities that got US$163,446.00 participated per CBL Records in the Mop Up Exercise, but were not in operation during the field visit.”

The report also said the GAC verified activities of the transactions on the account. Factual Findings and there was no corresponding United States Dollars account opened to hold the US$25million to be drawn from the International Foreign Exchange Reserve Account for the purpose of the Mop-up Exercise.

“The total of US$15 million reported by the CBL as the amount used for the Mo-Up Exercise was drawn from the CBL’s Operational Vault Account instead of the International Foreign Reserve Account as per the MOU. The Operational Vault Account of the CBL hosts several other transactions in addition to the amount used for the Mop-up Exercise. The money issued from the vault daily and disbursed to beneficiaries from the bank’s United States Dollars operational vault was not posted to the bank’s accounting system in real time. For example, money taken from the vault between the periods July 17 – 31, 2018 was not posted to the vault until August 1, 2018 in lump sum amounts,” the report.

According to AG Gaye, the CBL Governor indicated that the CBL occasionally uses direct mop-up exercise as a non-conventional monetary policy strategy / tool to reduce currency outside the banking system with the intention of reducing the pressure on the Liberia Dollar value. However, he did not provide documented outcome on the Mop-Ups carried out in prior period/years.

Members of the Technical Economic Management Team (TEMT) include Finance Minister Samuel D. Tweah, Jr. as Chairman Co-chairman Nathaniel R. Patray III, Executive Governor, Central Bank of Liberia.

Members include Commerce Minister Wilson K. Tarpeh, Thomas Doe Nah, Commissioner General, Liberia Revenue Authority, Molewuleh B. Gray, Chairman, National Investment Commission, Charles R. G. Bright, Advisor Economic Affairs, Office of the President, Trokon A. Kpui, Minister of State Without Portfolio. Members of the Board of Governors (CBL) Nathaniel R. Patray, III- Executive Governor, D. Sheba Brown- Governor, Elise Dossen-Badio –Governor, Richard Dorley – Governor respectively.

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