MONROVIA, Montserrado – Rep. Samuel Kogar of Nimba’s fifth district has accused government ministries of violating the Public Financial Management Act by not submitting quarterly reports to the legislature as it pertains to their spending.
The portion of the law Kogar referenced in fact stipulates that all “spending entities” are required to provide cash flow statements on revenues and expenditures on a quarterly basis to the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, and not directly to the legislature.
The Finance Ministry is then responsible for compiling that information to submit to the legislature and making available to the public. The law requires this to be done no later than 45 days after the end of a quarter.
Kogar said more than five budget quarters have passed with no performance reports coming from spending entities, as required by law. The Finance Ministry’s website, where information about the budget is usually published, also contained no budget performance reports.
“Colleagues, as far as my knowledge can serve unambiguously right that more than five budget quarters have passed with no budget performance reports coming from spending entities, as required by law, except the Central Bank of Liberia that has been very much in compliance with the Public Financial Management Provision,” Kogar said.
The lawmaker added that intentional refusal of government spending entities to submit their quarterly reports undermines transparency and prevents the legislature from fulfilling its oversight responsibility.
“This gross violation should not be allowed to go unchecked because it is in line with the principles of transparency and accountability that these safeguards were instituted by us, legislators, so as to ensure that public resources are properly accounted for,” Kogar added.
“The law provides that upon failure of a spending entity to present a timely report to the National Legislature, as required by section 7, the president is directed to take appropriate action that may lead to the loss of pay for the head of the defaulting entity.”
Featured photo by Nimba Future Generation