-Wasted Time; Dashed Hope; As USAID’s Sponsored Report Highlights Procedural Weaknesses And Other Shortcomings At CBL
As the expected USAID sponsored L$16 billion is expected to be released amidst high anxiety, a statement from the United States of America’s Embassy near the capital among other things, is stating that no information in the report should be interpreted on its own as an indication of improper conduct by any specific individual or individuals without further investigation by appropriate Liberian officials.
The statement also added that “we urge that the Report be read in its entirety, and encourage pragmatic responses from the Government of Liberia and its people. Beyond the release, neither Kroll nor the U.S. Embassy will offer expanded views on the content of the Report”.
Despite the announcement by the U.S. Embassy that it is pleased to release an Independent Review Report prepared by Kroll Associates Inc. regarding allegations of the disappearance of new Liberian Dollar banknotes, the Embassy sponsored this report on the condition that “we, as the client of Kroll, release the report publicly”.
In October 2018 the U.S. Embassy, in response to a request to the international community from the Government of Liberia and Liberian civil society groups, began the process, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), to commission an Independent Report by a firm with expertise in forensic investigations.
The firm chosen was Kroll Associates Inc., (Kroll) a division of Duff & Phelps, LLC. Their mandate was to research matters stemming from allegations in the press that a container of new Liberian Dollar (LRD) banknotes had “gone missing” upon arrival in Liberia.
Kroll’s analysis of delivery documentation provided by the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) confirms that new banknotes totaling LRD15.506 billion were received into the CBL’s reserve vaults. Kroll found no information to support allegations that a container of banknotes went missing.
However, Kroll does raise concerns regarding the overall accuracy and completeness of the CBL’s internal records. The Report identifies systemic and procedural weaknesses at the CBL, and identifies shortcomings in Liberia’s fiscal and monetary management processes that are longstanding and continue to the present day.
This Report does not include information that: 1) contains legally restricted and/or commercially sensitive information; 2) would identify individuals who are neither elected nor appointed; or 3) could impinge on the security of Liberia’s banking system, including descriptions of bank security systems.
Kroll also provided the Government of Liberia with a technical security assessment of the CBL and security-related recommendations. To protect the integrity of CBL operations, we will not release this security-related information.
The United States remains committed to Liberia’s development and democracy, and trusts that this Independent Review will support improved governance principles, fiscal reforms, and monetary system practices in Liberia.
The Report underscores the importance of drawing on international best practices in the conduct of economic affairs, including thoroughly documenting transactions to ensure credibility and transparency. We appreciate the resilience of the Liberian people as their Government works in good faith to address vulnerabilities identified, and to strengthen the integrity of Liberia’s currency, banking system, and economy.
The New Republic Newspaper is an independent newspaper established in 2009 by a Liberian journalist, Alphonso Toweh with many years of experience for the key purpose of reporting a balanced coverage of events as well as promoting Liberia’s image locally and internationally.
Toweh has been working for Reuters News Agency as its correspondent since 1998 to present. In addition to that, he has served as correspondents for the following magazines: West Africa New African, Africa Week and African Observer.
More to that, he worked for Radio Deutche Welle radio in Germany, Radio Netherlands and contributed to CNN, BBC News hour, BBC TV as well as Africa Confidential and Sunday Times in London.
The paper has no political affiliation nor ethic lineage. The focus and primary commitment is to ensure the sovereignty of Liberia and unity for Africa. It seeks to foster human rights and freedom of the press.
The New Republic is a liberal paper dedicated to upholding the tenets of democracy. It believes that state can not only create the political, social, economic and cultural spirit, but also to ensure that all human beings, irrespective of any affiliation is able to achieve its highest human potentials.
The paper strives for free speech and equal opportunity for all. Importantly, it believes that the nation must intervene judiciously in the economic life, in order to minimise the adverse effects of free enterprise and ensure that less privileged people have reasonable and fair access to the basic necessities of life. By this, it would help reduce some level of threat.
New Republic brings huge commitment to its readers and offers the nation the type of media that will advocate for the people and nudge our nation on the path of development and social re-engineering