At Ministry of Youth and Sports, US$710,512 and L$35,660,979 unaccounted for …GAC Report reveals
Audit Report submitted to the National Legislature by Liberia by the General Auditing Commission(GAC) for three fiscal years 2017/2018 to 2019/2020 shows that the Management Ministry of Youth and Sports failed to account for US$710,512 (FY 2017/2018 US$106,931, FY2018/2019 US$290,157 and FY2019/2020 US313,424) and LS35,660,979 (FY2017/2018 L$6,275,277, FY2018/2019 L$ 3,573,684 and FY2019/2020 L$25,812,018).
According to Regulation A.3 (1) of the Public Finance Management (PFM) Act of 2009 states, “ any public officer concerned with the conduct of financial matters of the Government of Liberia, or the receipt, custody and disbursement of public and trust moneys, or for the custody, care and use of government stores and inventories shall keep books of accounts and proper records of all transactions and shall produce the books of accounts and records of the transactions for inspection when called upon to do so by the Auditor-General, the Comptroller General, the relevant internal auditor or any officers authorized by the Minister.”
Also, paragraph P.9 (2) of the Public Finance Management (PFM) Act of 2009 states that, “Payments except for statutory transfers and debt service shall be supported by invoices bills and other documents in addition to the payment vouchers.”
Contrary to the above provisions, during the audit, the GAC observed that Management made payments for various transactions and failed to provide supporting documentation such as payment vouchers, invoices/receipts, delivery notes, contracts, etc. to substantiate the genuineness of the transactions. These transactions were extracted from the various cash books for the three fiscal years under audit.
In the absence of supporting documents, the GAC says the validity, occurrence, and accuracy of payments cannot be assured. This may lead to misappropriation of public funds. Further, the absence of supporting documentation for transactions may also lead to fraudulent financial management practices, through the processing and disbursement of illegitimate transactions.
Therefore, the GAC is recommending that management should fully account for expenditure made without supporting documents and going forward, Management should ensure that all transactions are supported by the requisite supporting documents consistent with the financial management regulations.
The Management of the Ministry of Youth and Sports acknowledged the GAC observation and indicated that it compiled the documentation for these transactions for GAC’s review.
However, the Auditor General indicated in his position that the GAC reviewed the documents subsequently provided by Management in response to the findings above and have therefore adjusted the payments without supporting documents to US$710,512 (FY 2017/2018 US$106,931, FY2018/2019 US$290,157 and FY2019/2020 US313,424) and LS35,660,979 (FY2017/2018 L$6,275,277, FY2018/2019 L$ 3,573,684 and FY2019/2020 L$25,812,018) to be accounted for by Management.
Meanwhile, the Management of the Ministry of Youth and Sports failed to remit to the consolidated fund account unspent cash balance of US$1,231,407.37 (FY2017/2018 475,987.27, FY2018/2019 501,299.07 and FY2019/2020 254,121.03) contrary to Section 27 (1 and 2) of the PFM Act of 2009 states, “(1) All un-allotted appropriations and all uncommitted allotments will lapse at the end of the fiscal year. (2) All balances of appropriations committed but not disbursed prior to the end of the fiscal year, shall be available for the settlement of those obligations within 90 days from the end of the preceding fiscal year. All such balances not disbursed after ninety (90) days following the end of the preceding fiscal year shall be moved to Government Consolidated Account. The recording, accounting and reporting of such undisbursed balances shall be set out in accounting regulations to be issued under this Act and shall be consistent with the provisions of sections 33, 34 and 35 of this Act.