Liberia 2nd post war Auditor General, Mr. Robert L. Kilby, told the Senate Committee on Public Accounts and Audits hearing on Tuesday, 13 November 2012 that the “Peer Review Report” issued by the European Union(EU) on the activities of the General Auditing Commission(GAC) before he assumed the leadership of the GAC disclosed a very disturbing findings.
Among other things, AG Kilby said the report disclosed that 95% of the workforce of the GAC does not understand the organizational strategy of the organization, 90 percent of the organization failed to execute their strategies successfully, 70 percent of the organization does not link middle management incentive to strategy and 60 percent of the organization do not link strategy to budgeting.
But a meticulous investigation of the Quality Control Training Report Strategies Report by the Independent Authoritative Heritage Authoritative Heritage proves AG Kilby points otherwise. The Quality Control Training Report Strategies Report, a copy of which is in possession of this paper, was developed to determine the training needs of the GAC and not a peer review report as stated by the AG.
A peer review report is a review of the activities of an audit firm by another firm or auditor to ensure that quality control system is in place and operating effectively, and policies and applicable audit standards are being followed. It is performed every three years. The firm, which is peer reviewed, normally issues a comment letter in response to the peer review.
However, our investigation of the report established: what Mr. Kilby did not tell Senate Committee on Public Accounts and Audits is that the Report issued by Finn Europe, a European subcontractor, which conducted the assessment, was quoting a study conducted by the United States based strategic planning management consulting firm, Balanced Scorecard Collaborative in 2006 of “a typical organization.”
The statistics quoted by the AG were not referring to the GAC as an institution, our investigation further established.
The report identified twelve key issues affecting the GAC Quality Control Process in order of priorities, which includes as number one the lack of financial independence.
The report states that the lack of financial independence may compromise the work of the GAC. This has been demonstrated in the 2012/2013 budget as reported by the Authoritative Heritage whereas the Department of Audit Service at the GAC, according to the recently approved budget, which copy is in the possession of the Authoritative Heritage, does not have a penny to conduct audits during the 2012/2013 fiscal year.
The second priority identified by the report is the lack of a clearly defined risk management strategy /framework within the GAC . What this means is that the organization has not development a plan as to how to mitigate the various identifiable risks to its existence such as the lack of financial independence, the 4-year tenure of the Auditor General which could make the office susceptible to Presidential manipulation; the third area of priority is the lack of operational plans and monitoring and evaluation mechanisms, an operational plan is a more detail plan which is a derivative of the strategic which is crafted within a period normally every 12 months.
The fourth level of priority identify by the quality control process not fully documented, the report states that the GAC is not fully implementing the Quality Assurance Policy which could adversely affect the quality of reports produce. The area of priority identified by the report is the inadequate audit documentation what this means is that the GAC need to modernize its filing system to ensure that all the pieces of evidence that support the audit conclusion are properly kept, etc.
However, this is not the first time that Mr. Kilby has twisted the facts to achieve his objective since he arrived at the GAC about three months ago. He recently stated in a Frontpage Africa Online interview that he negotiated the price of his Government assigned vehicle from US$60,000 to US$56,000 thus saving the Government US$4,000. But, when the Authoritative Heritage contacted a source at the Ministry of Finance, the source indicated that the GAC made request for US$65,000 for the incoming AG Kilby, US$50,000 for vehicle and US$15,000 for furniture for Office of the Auditor General.
Meanwhile, it remains to be seen what the Liberian Senate would do about this Authoritative Revelation which contradicts the AG Tuesday Senate Hearing as he made the statement under oath. This is not the first time that Mr. Kilby has made a statement under oath which appears to be at variance with the truth. He stated during his botched confirmation hearings in August 2011 that he obtained a master degree from the University of Maryland in Telecommunications.
When the Liberian Senate contacted the University of Maryland College Park, the school told the senate stated that it has no record of a Robert Kilby obtaining a graduate degree from the school in telecommunications. Observers of the Liberian Senate are waiting to see what action the body would take in the apparent perjury by Mr. Kilby.