John S. Morlu, II
Editor's Note: On the 27 of April, the Liberian Observer quoted the Auditor General of Kenya as saying, “the General Auditing Commission (GAC) of Liberia from 2009 – 2013 was extremely corrupt and failed to comply with rules governing international financial best practice.” Though Morlu was not served a copy of the report and was not at GAC for most part of the period under review, drawing inference from comments about the purported audit report, Liberians still feel that John Morlu is still the Auditor General of Liberia. But the former auditor general is now requesting copy of the audit to respond to the “findings.” It is an open secret that President Sirleaf’s legacy has been ruined by all forms of corruptions with impunity that permeate her administration. As some observers put it, this seems to be a sinister and calculated attempt to not only disparage Morlu’s reputation, but it is also a gimmick to nullify audits done by Mr. Morlu and his auditors. Others opine that this is happening because of Morlu’s expressed interest in putting his hat in the 2017 race. Below is the letter from Morlu:
April 29, 2016
Auditor General Yusador Gaye General Auditing Commission
Ashmun Street, Monrovia Liberia
c/o Deputy Auditor General Winsley S. Nanka
General Auditing Commission Ashmun Street, Monrovia Liberia
Dear Madam Auditor General:
More than five years ago, I departed the General Auditing Commission.
I have read multiple news outlets that an audit of the General Auditing Commission (GAC) was commissioned and subsequently conducted by Kenya’s National Audit Office. It is reported that the audit covers six years period, including about a year of the time I served as Auditor General of Liberia:
John Morlu ’s term, Winsley Nanka’s term, Robert Kilby's term and Y us ador Gaye’s term.
Although about one year of the six years relates to my tenure, as the person who built the GAC, I have come to represent the face of that great institution of Government. Fair enough! Highly welcomed!
I know that any mention of GAC hundred years from now, would still mention me and my staff, since we built that great institution from the dust and firth of oblivion, dysfunction and paralysis to a household name of public sector accountability. I am duly honored that Liberians have continued to see the GAC through the prism of the work we did while I served as Auditor General.
That said, I am writing to request from you a copy of the said audit report and also request that the entire report be published. It does not matter whether it is draft form or final report.
In the same vein, I am requesting also that your office send me copies of all other previous audits conducted of the GAC that affects anytime during my tenure. There were public reports that former AG Robert Kilby commissioned an audit of my tenure to be done by Parker & Associates, yet again, it was just in the media and no published reports and no copy was provided for me even after repeated requests.
Professionally, since a part of my period was included and lumped into the subsequent periods after my departure, it would be the fair and right thing for you to have sent a draft copy for my review and comment. This is required and accepted auditing standard, whether AICPA, PCAOB, or INTOSAI Standards. That is however, a mute point since it was not done, and you will not get a complain from me at all because I believe that in the end the public discussion about the GAC will reignite the issues of public sector accountability and transparency. It is a minor inconvenience for me personally but the larger society interest is served and promoted by the discussion of fiscal probity and public sector accountability and transparency, especially in regard to the watchdog of Government.
I have said time and time again that audit reports are not taboo; they are public documents to be made available immediately to the Liberian people when they are completed. And I have also said, like Thomas Jefferson, that I wish to live enough to see a day when all financial and related transactions of the government of Liberia are published each day for the Liberian people to see.
I am a strong believer in public sector transparency and accountability and this is why I want you to immediately publish the entire audit so as to give Liberians a chance to see what transpired at the GAC and also for me to have an opportunity to respond for the sake of the men and women of integrity who worked with me at the GAC and for the millions of Liberians who have come to believe in what we did for Liberia at the GAC. As a public servant, I am accountable to each and every Liberian and I owe each Liberian an explanation and presentation of nothing but the facts and truths.
Madam Auditor General, as the main proponent and one of the main architects of the Public Financial Management Act (2009), I ensured that Auditor Generals will never again hide audit report from the people of Liberia. So I fought and succeeded in putting in the law the timely publication of audit reports. Section 37 (6) of the PFM Act reads:
“The Auditor General shall publish the audit report in the Official Gazette and make it available
to the Legislature and the public within one month of the completion of said audit report.”
This is the law of Liberia.
You can email me firstname.lastname@example.org a copy of the audit report and also all other audits conducted of the GAC that affects my tenure, whether draft or final. I am also willing and prepared to pay the full cost for DHL or FedEx so that I can get a copy of the audit report by KNAO.
Madam Auditor General, I also request that you publish the KNAO audit of the GAC and all other audits conducted of the GAC to date. This is a legal and professional obligation.
John Morlu II, CPA, CMA, CIA, CFM, CGFM, CGAP, CITP, MBA Managing Partner
JS Morlu, LLC CPAs
CC: Hon. Alex J. Tyler, Speaker, House of Representatives
Hon. Armah Jallah, Pro Tempore Armah, Senate