Liberia: GAC Releases Audit Report on Bong Social Development Funds

Bong County – The General Audit Commission (GAC) has released an audit report conducted on the Bong County Social Development Funds covering the period 2018 to 2021.

The GAC revealed in the report that the Bong County administration led by Superintendent Esther Walker and controversial PMC Chairman Stephen Mulbah paid four contractors US$59,000 for projects without proof of work. carried out.

The report also established that Bong’s administration spent an amount of US$396,820 on projects without evidence of bid evaluation reports, national competitive bidding, contracts, articles of incorporation, documents, etc. business registration and tax clearance.

The GAC stated that the county administration disbursed the total amount of US$366,000 and L$1,920,000 to twelve (12) institutions as county support without proof of supporting documents.

Of the total allocation approved by the Bong County Council sitting for debts to contractors amounting to US$760,380 for the projects, only US$468,900 has been paid resulting in unpaid debts of US$291,479.

The GAC said there was a discrepancy of $222,664 between the total amounts disbursed to the Bong County government according to the 2018/2019 financial results report and the total amount received according to the expenditure report.

Further, he said there was no evidence of supporting documents to prove how the payments were made.

Meanwhile, the findings released by the GAC are very similar to those previously reported by the three civil society organizations that recently researched how Bong County leaders spent development funds between 2018 and 2021.

With support from ForumCiv, Media and Civic Education Rural Liberia, Delta-Human Rights Foundation and FIND launched the report in Gbarnga on February 2 this year.

Like the three civil society organizations recommended in their report, the GAC also recommends sanctions for county officials and contractors charged in the report for mishandling county development funds.

The House of Representatives plenum in August 2021 directed the GAC to conduct an audit of Bong County Development Funds from 2018 to 2021 and make the findings available to serve as a basis for investigating allegations of corruption among county officials.

Joel C. Hicks