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Friday, June 14, 2024

UNITY PARTY’S SPECIAL INVESTIGATIVE COMMITTEE PRESENTS REPORT ON INAUGURAL CELEBRATIONS FUND

Date:

MONROVIA – The Special Investigative Committee, appointed by the Unity Party to probe the handling of funds for the inaugural celebrations, has submitted its report to the National Chairman, Rev. J. Luther Tarpeh.

The controversy began when the Unity Party’s Finance office reportedly received Three Hundred Sixty-Five Thousand United States Dollars from the Inaugural Budget and Finance Committee on January 18, 2024. This fund, provided by President Joseph Boakai, Standard Bearer of the Unity Party, was intended to facilitate the participation of the Seventy-Three (73) districts in the county in the inaugural celebration, with each district slated to receive Five Thousand United States Dollars (US$5,000.00).

After the inauguration on January 22, 2024, a public outcry ensued over the alleged mismanagement of the fund, leading Chairman Rev. Tarpeh to establish an investigative panel.

The committee’s report, obtained by Smart News Liberia, indicates that all county chairs confirmed receiving US$5,000.00 for each district. However, the report also found that each county leadership withdrew US$1,000 from the funds earmarked for their districts.

The committee discovered that county leaderships requested and were granted permission by the National Chairman to utilize US$1,000 from each district’s fund for county leadership expenses, despite established procedures for fund disbursement.

Furthermore, the committee revealed that the fund was distributed based on administrative districts rather than electoral districts, as per the disbursement procedure. For example, Lofa County, with 5 electoral districts but 11 administrative districts, would allocate US$1,333.00 to each administrative district within Electoral District 1.

The Special Investigative Committee has recommended that counties and districts lacking essential documentation, such as receipts, invoices, delivery notes, participant lists, and photos, either produce these documents or reimburse the disbursed amount at the county, electoral district, and administrative district levels.

While the report did not specify the counties failing to provide these documents, it highlighted the absence of these crucial records in some instances.

Additionally, the report made several recommendations:

  1. The finance committees should develop a policy on cash and cash control for approval by the National Elections Commission (NEC) for party functions.
  2. Organize workshops to educate county branch offices on cash handling and reporting procedures.
  3. Establish a Welfare and Hospitality Committee within the Unity Party leadership to manage similar interventions in the future.

The report commended the Unity Party leadership for its efforts to ensure accountability and transparency within the party’s operations, acknowledging the importance of these principles in the party’s business affairs.

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Smart News Liberia is an online news outlet and a product of Smart Media Group Inc. Our website, smartnewsliberia.com, covers a broad spectrum of news content. For inquiries or information, you can reach us at 0777425285 or 0886946925, or email us at smartnewsliberia@gmail.com or info@smartnewsliberia.com.

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