The Joint Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Legislature has endorsed the General Auditing Commission (GAC)'s recommendation which called on Mr. Abraham Simmons, General Manager of the Roberts International Airport (RIA) to resituate US$35,950 he reportedly paid for a vehicle online in 2007 which was never delivered.
The Auditor General in a report to the Legislature stated that Mr. Simmons paid the US$35,950 on December 20, 2007 to JMTC Ltd, a UK based company for the purchase of a Pathfinder Jeep.
The GAC said despite payment, the company failed to deliver the vehicle and that no effort was made to recover the funds.
However, the PAC said the GAC's claim was evident from the facts placed it and the response from witness during a public hearing that the RIA did not follow the procedure stipulated in the Public Procurement and Concessions Commission (PPCC) Act of 2005 for such purchase.
The PAC said following the hearing, it was proven that Mr. Simmons personally initiated the contact with JMTC via the internet, with no background check done on said company to ensure that purported foreign company had the ability to deliver the vehicle with the right specifications.
The Joint Public Committee quotes RIA Acting Comptroller Mr. Acarous Z. Nyenawo during the Public hearing at the time as claiming that information was not accessible to him.
According to the PAC, Mr. Nyenawo who said RIA followed PPCC procedure for the purchase of the vehicle failed to respond to a question regarding the number of vendors that were involved in the vehicle transaction.
“When asked whether in his view the transaction met the requirements of the PPCC of 2005, Mr. Nyenawo declined to comment. He was however quick to confirm that the vehicle was not delivered and that the entity was yet to take legal action to recover the money,” the PAC said in a recent report submitted to President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.
The Auditor General's report recommended that Mr. Simmons be sanctioned for violating the PPCC provisions punishable under section 138 (1); and that he restitutes the money into an escrow account to be established at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning at the Central Bank of Liberia.
Recently, the Public Accounts Committee released its report on the GAC audit reports conducted on five government ministries and agencies.
They include the Roberts International Airport, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Gender and Development, National Port Authority and Ministry of Justice.