Employees at the once revered General Auditing Commission, GAC which stood as the lone general on the frontlines of Liberia’s fight against corruption, declared by the country’s President, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as ‘public enemy #1’ during her first inaugural address are fleeing the commission in mass for what is considered to be a coordinatedand targeted witch hunting.
Employees interviewed disclosed the heightened level of panic and systemic hurdles deployed at the commission, designed to raid the institution of employees who were once under the whims of the former Auditor General John Morlu as headed and built it from scratch to an institution of reverence.
Speaking on anonymity, the GAC employees revealed some of the strenuous tactics and policies put in place by the new management with the motive of targeting employees include, banning employees from using the internet, not to become a member or associate with any social and community based organization as well as political organization.
Employees of the GAC say the new management of the GAC has compelled all employees of the commission to submit police clearance by the February 15, 2012 or face immediate dismissal though they have worked for the commission for the past 5 years or some longer before the coming of the former Auditing General.
“This sudden shift in policy demanding employees submit police clearance or be dismissed is a tactic motivated to get raid of auditors trained by the former Auditor General and replace by their own that will willfully embrace business as usual, a patent the government desires. The government believes our former boss is still in control of the commission because we still display the unwavering ethics, discipline and training we got and exhibited during his realm here, something one thinks the government would appreciate but instead they one which they disdained”, an employee said.
Today, one employee, Eric Gbarney, a spokesman for the opposition National Union for Democratic Progress, NUDP was dismissed just minutes after he spoke on Truth FM radio talk show commenting on the appointment of some deputy ministers made by the President apparently allotted to his party which he said was inconsistent and not in do not reflect his party. Mr. Gbarney called back on the talk show and revealed he was dismissed from the GAC immediately for his comments on the radio.
“This morning dismissal of Mr. Gbarney is just the latest, the Director of Communication, Stanley Seakor and the senior staff at the IT department were dismissed for time indefinite about three months ago by the new management team for keeping the picture of the former Auditor General, John Morlu on the commission’s website after he had left the commission”, an employee said.
The government is carrying on witch-hunting here, they are targeting anything they conceived in their minds is connected to or had ties with our former boss, they will end up dismissing everyone here because we cannot compromise the training, ethics, and discipline the former Auditor General instilled in us, another employee said.
“Before they dismiss us without cost and tarnish our good reputation and professional record, we’ll rather leave and as I speak, auditors are fleeing the GAC in huge number for private and other institution in mass, including me, one employee disclosed.
The Liberian government determined to destroying the GAC for good, carrying it back the abyss it once came, we have no choice but leave the GAC we all built and work so hard for and somewhere else we can be appreciated for the professional work we do and not being targeted for doing nothing wrong but doing your job with professionalism, a GAC employee remarked.
The General Auditing Commission has become the Liberian government’s lighting rod of disguise and is always at logger head, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf refused to renew the four year tenure of the former Auditor General John Morlu. President Sirleaf refusal to renew the GAC chief tenure stemmed form his uncompromising fight against that west African chronic of corruption nature, his audits reports indicted several public officials including close confidant of the president; they were recommendation for prosecution but the Justice Ministry and the President are yet to act on any of the recommendation. Ironically, those same indicted officials are in government again but with new assignment.