Bong Superintendent Requests Audit of Past Administration

GBARNGA, Bong − Bong County Superintendent Hawa Loleyah Norris has requested an audit of the past administration’s financial transactions and revenues.

Superintendent Norris said she had requested the General Auditing Commission and the Internal Audit Agency to conduct a monthlong audit that will cover all transactions of the Bong County Sports Association, the Gbarnga Administration Building, and Bong Sports Stadium Committee, among other entities, for the period from November 11, 2011 to May 14, 2024.

She said the audit would explain how funds generated by the local administrative offices and committees were used.

“We have discovered 14 different accounts from the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment, and we have again written the LBDI regarding the balances of these accounts,” she said.

“There were no turnover notes provided by the former fiscal affairs superintendent of the county to provide some basis for the smooth operations of the office.”

She revealed that her administration inherited a debt of US$809,090.75 from the Project Management Committee of the past county administration. Of that amount, the county owes US$$279,542.46 for liabilities to projects from 2012 to 2018. The county owes a further US$13,080 in honorarium arrears to former PMC staff working between 2014 and 2018. The county also owes the current PMC staff compensation arrears of US$$136,332, covering the period from November 12, 2018 to March 31, 2024.

Since the coming in of her administration on May 14, she said the county had received US$9,100 along with L$1.44 million (US$5,398) for building rentals, the Bong County Sports Association, and the election of local chiefs.

She said US$5,600 and L$200,000 (US$1,031) were spent by the administration and the sports committee, leaving a bank balance of US$3,560.83 and L$844,255.60 (US$4,352).

Norris noted that her administration was working with the legislative caucus to lift the moratorium on the county development account. The moratorium was placed in 2021 due to several financial improprieties by the past leadership. Since then, there have been no withdrawals from the county’s accounts.

The decision was reached following a letter from Bong’s third district representative, Marvin Cole, to invite Internal Affairs Minister Varney Sirleaf and then superintendent Esther Walker to appear before the House of Representatives to explain the alleged mismanagement of more than US$80,000 from the county’s coffers.

During the appearance, Sirleaf and Walker denied any financial malpractice and said they had worked in line with the law.

Featured photo by Patrick S. Tokpah

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