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Legislature Vows to Use “Teeth” on Corrupt Officials

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first_img(L-r) Outgoing Joint PAC Chairman Rep. Thomas P. Fallah and the current Chairman of the Joint PAC Sen. Henry YallahTo Support President George Weah in Fight against CorruptionThe new leadership of the Joint Public Accounts and Expenditure Committee (PAC) of the House of Representatives and the Liberian Senate, has pledged to use its ‘Legislative Teeth’ to  critically review all audit reports from the General Auditing Commission, and they expect President George M. Weah to act upon their recommendations.The Joint Legislative Committee of Public Accounts is a select committee comprised of members from both Houses which is responsible to oversee government expenditures, and  ensure they are effective and honest. The committee is seen as a crucial mechanism for ensuring transparency and accountability in the financial operations of the government.On Wednesday, February 7, the Joint PAC of the 54th Legislature assumed responsibility with renewed commitment to collaborate with the General Auditing Commission (GAC), the Internal Auditing Committee (IAA), and other anti-graft institutions to ensure that audit reports are implemented to their logical conclusions.Speaking Wednesday at the official turning over program, the new chairman of the Joint PAC, Senator Henry W. Yallah of Bong County, indicated that the PAC under his leadership stands ready to fight corruption and control wasteful spending.Chairman Yallah pointed out that the objectives of the PAC cannot be realized without “political will” from the Executive to implement the recommendations as contained in the committee’s findings.“I am happy that in the President’s first annual address he talked about the need for support from the Legislature, and the PAC is fit in this support that he talked about,” Sen. Yallah said.Chairman Yallah indicated that the PAC is not a “sleeping giant”; as such, it is left with the Executive to exercise the requisite political will.The Senator also noted that he is seeking more training opportunities for members of the PAC and to strengthen the PAC Secretariat, which he described as the engine of the committee.Also speaking at the occasion, the chairman of the PAC of the House of Representatives, Edward Karfiah, indicated that although the task is huge, however, the current team is set to achieve its goals.Speaking earlier, the chairman emeritus of the Joint PAC, Rep. Thomas P. Fallah, expressed confidence in the new leadership to sustain and add on to the gains made.He commended the GAC, the Executive, and partners for their collaboration during his tenure.For her part, the Auditor General of Liberia, Yusador S. Gaye, assured members of the Joint PAC of a cordial working relationship between the General Auditing Commission (GAC) and the 54th Legislature.According to her, the GAC directly reports to the Legislature the findings of the audit reports reviewed by the Joint PAC before making its submission to the Executive for action.Madam Gaye indicated that the GAC as an integrity institution will work tirelessly in the interest of the Liberian people in the fight against corruption.The GAC boss told members of the committee that her institution will be robust in supporting the CDC-led government’s agenda on accountability.She called on the committee to speed up the review of audit reports currently on the desk of the PAC, in order to make way for other reports to be submitted.She informed members of the committee that there are dozens of reports which have not been acted upon by the committee.She urged the Legislature to at times respond to public criticism against the GAC, because the entity reports directly to the Legislature.Accordingly, the GAC has completed 177 audits, but she did not say how many audit reports are before the Joint PAC.The tenure of the chairmanship of the Joint Committee on PAC alternates every three years between the House of Representatives and the Liberian Senate.Sen. Yallah replaced Rep. Thomas Fallah, who completed the three-year tenure of Rep. Ben Fofana.The co-chairman of the Joint PAC is Rep. Edward W. Karfiah, who also chairs the House’s PAC.The membership of the PAC of the 54th Legislature includes Sen. G. Alphonso Gaye, co-chairman of the Senate PAC; Sen. Dallas A.V. Gueh, Sen. Nyonblee K. Lawrence, Sen. Jim Tornorlah, Sen. George Tengbeh, and Sen. Edward Dagoseh.Others members are Rep. Clarence Garr, co-chairman of the House PAC, Rep. Matthew Zarzar, Rep. Ben. A. Fofana, Rep. Clarence Massaquoi, Rep. Francis S. Dopoh II, Rep. Edwin M. Snowe, Rep. Acarous M. Gray, and Rep. Robert F. Womba.This newly established Joint PAC is expected to serve for three years because, according to the Rules and Regulations of the House and Senate, the House appoints statutory and standing committees every three years, while the Senate has elections every three year for statutory committees.The Deputy Auditor General of GAC, Winsley S. Nanka, and the Director of the Internal Auditing Agency (IAA), E. Barthan Nyeswa were also in attendance.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Nicaragua deports US fugitive wanted for child porn

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first_imgRelated posts:U.S. Embassy: Pot legalization back home won’t change Latin America drug policy The exposure of Eugene Hasenfus Costa Rica police bust Cuban migrants smuggling operation Cuban migrants caught in limbo again as Nicaragua sends them back to Costa Rica Nicaragua deported to the United States on Thursday a fugitive American wanted by Interpol on child pornography charges, officials said Thursday.Cory Michael Papp, 37, pleaded guilty in US federal court in 2009 but fled before sentencing.Papp came to Nicaragua on Dec. 21 through the border with Honduras and was arrested on Jan. 1 in the central province of Chontales as he headed to a Caribbean port, Nicaraguan police said in a statement.It noted that the International Criminal Police Organization had asked that Papp be extradited to the United States “to be prosecuted for the crime of child pornography.”Papp was detained with an expired passport as he boarded a taxi during an inspection at a police checkpoint, legal police official Glenda Zabal told official media.The fugitive was arrested after consulting with the US Embassy on his status.Papp was seen watching child porn images on computers on July 31 and Aug. 1, 2007 in the Valley Library at Oregon State University, according to the FBI.Police arrested him and found several CDs containing child porn and child erotica during a search of the computer hard drives and the backpack Papp had with him.Computer forensics conducted by Oregon State Police found more than 2,237 images of minors, including ones who hadn’t yet reached puberty, engaged in sexually explicit conduct.The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children identified a number of known victims of child sexual abuse among the images Papp had with him.Papp’s arrest in Nicaragua marked the fourth apprehension and deportation of a fugitive alien there in the last year.Nicaragua has announced plans to extradite more than 350 foreign prisoners serving sentences in the country, most related to drug trafficking.On December 23, it deported the first group of inmates – 22 Mexicans, including 18 people posing as Televisa journalists who were arrested with $9.2 million in cash illegally in their possession. Facebook Commentslast_img read more