Board Orders Disaster Management Agency Audited, Amid Reports of Irregularities

MONROVIA, Montserrado – The board of the National Disaster Management Agency has ordered an audit of the agency’s financial records by the General Auditing Commission.

The agency is responsible for managing disasters in Liberia. According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Internal Affairs on Wednesday, the board’s decision followed a call by Sinoe’s Senator Milton Teahjay.

Teahjay, who chairs the Senate’s Committee on Autonomous Agencies, had made the call in response to media reports alleging that the agency was being characterized by financial improprieties.

The NDMA board, headed by Internal Affairs Minister Varney Sirleaf, had also met over the matter on Wednesday, September 25.

“At the close of the meeting, the board resolved that the audit is intended to establish whether allegations of financial and administrative malpractices at the agency are true or not,” the Internal Affairs Ministry’s press release said.

In the meeting were also representatives of the United Nations Development Program and several government ministries and agencies, including the Ministries of Finance and Development Planning, Mines and Energy, National Defense, and Agriculture. Others were the Environmental Protection Agency and the Liberia Maritime Authority.

The Internal Affairs Ministry said the board had on two occasions earlier met the NDMA’s executive director, Henry Williams, to examine the institution’s financial records, because of the allegations of irregularities.

“The agency’s board believes the [General Auditing Commission’s] expertise is required as the supreme auditing body to authenticate the facts surrounding allegations of irregularities at the agency,” it added.

The board also requested Williams to cooperate with the auditors.

Featured photo by Internal Affairs Ministry

Zeze Ballah

Zeze made his journalism debut as a high school reporter at the LAMCO Area School System. In 2016 and 2017, the Press Union of Liberia awarded Zeze with the Photojournalist of the Year award. Zeze was also the union's 2017 Health Reporter of the Year. He is a Health Journalism Fellow with Internews.

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