Monrovia, Liberia - Findings from an Internal investigation commissioned by Minister Boima S. Kamara few weeks ago, have indicted two contractors of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning for misapplication of funds intended to upgrade the Integrated Financial Management Systems (IFMIS)
Minister Kamara visibly unhappy with developments at the ministry told journalists at a news conference on Wednesday, February 8, 2017, that consistent with the gravity of the offence, the contracts of the Coordinator and Deputy Coordinator of the Integrated Financial Management Systems (IFMIS) will be terminated effective March 8, 2017.
The IFMIS Director Emmanuel Togba and Deputy Director, Herbert Sorbor, both of the Reform Coordination Unit (RCU) will be terminated for “financial improprieties.”
“By today, their respective contracts in terms of serving as coordinator and deputy coordinator will be terminated,” the Finance boss told journalists.
The decision was reached following their indictment in the findings of the commissioned investigation conducted by internal auditors.
Providing update of the investigation, Minister Kamara said from a of US$1 million set aside to upgrade the IFMIS system which was placed into an account created at the Afriland Bank by the culprits without his approval after deceiving other authorities that he was aware, US$82,000 was withdrawn and used for services for which said amount was not intended or authorized.
The head of government’s fiscal policy assured that the fund illegally withdrawn will be restituted into government account within one month.
“Today, we are pleased to inform you that following the outcome of an investigation, there will be restitution of the money withdrawn, which is around US$82,000. We will make sure that this gets back into government’s account,” Minister Kamara said.
In his update, Minister Kamara said “The findings clearly show that the purpose for which the account was established was not applied. There were withdrawals done from the account at the Afriland Bank without any true purpose.”
“People withdrew money not towards payment of contractors, not towards payment of a single work done or related work including payments for goods and services; they just went on and withdrew,” the Finance Minister said.
Minister Kamara reiterated he will do everything within his power to weed out financial malpractices and bring to book perpetrators.
“As long as we remain the Minister of Finance here, and with the help of our directors and other staff here, we will ensure transparency in the management of resources of this country. Let every dollar count, this is the new day that has arrived. Money collected on taxation must be utilized for the benefit of all citizens….,” the Finance Minister said.
Meanwhile, Minister Kamara has suspended several persons linked to ‘improprieties’ for at least one month.
“All those that are liable for the misapplication of funds will be suspended owing to the gravity of the offense and those who willfully decided on their own to abuse the system without authorization from me the Minister of Finance, their contract with the ministry will be terminated,” he told journalists.
IFMIS is a budget management and accounting system currently being implemented by the government of Liberia through the Ministry of Finance & Development Planning (MFDP) to help improve Public Expenditure Management Processes, Accountability and Transparency across ministries and agencies.
IFMIS is also designed to make use of modern information and communication technologies to help government plan and use its financial resources more efficiently and effectively.