first_imgIntroductionThe increased attraction of foreign direct investments to post-conflict Liberia and the Government’s efforts to reduce poverty and make Liberia a middle-income country by 2030 will have little impact if public sector management remains wanting. Effective public sector performance will greatly determine the extent to which Liberia steadily remains on the road to reconstruction and development. Corruption and inefficiency continue to be stubborn obstacles to good public sector management. In their efforts to reduce corruption and promote the proper use of public sector resources, multiple government entities—including the Ministry of Justice, the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), the Civil Service Agency (CSA), the General Auditing Commission (GAC), the Governance Commission (GC) and the Public Procurement and Concessions Commission (PPCC)—are severely challenged by entrenched bad practices in the public sector. Many of these institutions are putting up their best fight against public sector corruption and inefficiency, but the battle is overwhelming, to say the least.       Any hope for good public sector management?Some hope seems to lie in the Internal Audit Agency (IAA), an outgrowth of the Internal Audit Secretariat (IAS), which was created by the Liberian Government to help improve public sector performance. The IAA has the legal mandate to “Establish and direct internal audit functions within all branches of Government including the Executive, Legislative and Judiciary; and all public entities such as, public corporations, autonomous agencies, autonomous commissions, Government ministries and the Central Bank of Liberia.” The mandate also charges the IAA to “Advise and/or provide assurance that financial and operational activities of Government are in compliance with laws, policies, plans, standards and procedures that are applicable.”In line with this legal responsibility, the IAA has been assuming and reorganizing the internal audit functions of government agencies, and working with them to improve their financial and operational processes. Through risk assessment, assurance, advisory and other audit functions, the IAA works with government agencies to improve performance in priority areas such as payroll and personnel management, bank reconciliations, pre-auditing of disbursements, assets management, accounting and budgetary controls, prior audit recommendations and procurement. These efforts are contributing to better outcomes in the public sector and saving the Government of Liberia huge sums of money and other resources.In 2011, the IAS—the precursor of the IAA–started the deployment of internal auditors in eight government ministries. Today, IAA is working with 35 government ministries and public corporations. IAA auditors are recruited through rigorous testing and interview processes conducted with the help of diverse panelists. The auditors are predominantly college-educated. Many hold advanced degrees, while some have professional certifications such as Certified Fraud Examiners (CFE) and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).The Challenges of Change The deployment of internal auditors at Government agencies has received mixed responses. Most agency heads have embraced the assistance of the IAA. They generally consult with the internal auditors as often as needed on financial and operational issues. Some agency heads would hardly authorize certain transactions unless the transactions have been cleared by the internal auditors. Understandably, a few other agencies have been struggling with the new phenomenon of independent internal auditors. The IAA understands and expects these struggles—seeing them as a normal part of the change process. Change can be uncertain, complex and difficult, thereby engendering fears and suspicion. Therefore, the IAA has modified its baseline and continued education training curricula to help its auditors to effectively handle difficult institutional change reactions. Embedded in the new curricula are critical soft skills and other content areas such as conceptual and interpersonal competence, communications diplomacy, organizational culture, group dynamics, complexity of change, resistance to change, fear, stress reduction, conflict resolution and transformational leadership.       GAC and IAA: The DifferenceIt’s often asked why the IAA is needed when the GAC already exists? The GAC is an external auditor. At specified times, it goes in and audits government entities. Important as this exercise might be, sometimes damage (e.g., falsified information, resource abuse, theft or regulatory breach) has already been done.In contrast, the IAA is an internal auditor. It operates as an independent but integral part of the institutions in which its auditors are deployed. It goes into a government agency and assumes the internal audit function. The IAA reviews, studies and follows the financial and operational activities of an agency. It then advises and helps the agency to meet the required regulations, policies and procedures. For example, a GAC review may come at the end of a project, while an IAA review may happen in real time, thereby increasing the opportunity for new decisions and actions to be taken for a project to succeed.ConclusionThe socio-economic development of Liberia depends greatly on the efficiency and effectiveness of the public sector. Due to the current state of Liberia’s public sector, a lot of help is needed to contribute to the transformation of Liberia, as well as raise the nation’s living standard to a middle-income level. The adoption of the IAA concept, which is gaining traction in Africa and other developing regions, could not happen at a better time in post-conflict Liberia. The IAA represents the latest tool in the Government’s toolbox to make the public sector more effective, efficient, transparent and accountable. About the AuthorZobong consults with the IAA. He also teaches in the Graduate Program in Education at the University of Liberia. Zobong holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership from Northeastern University in the United States.     Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgPolice in C Division (East Coast Demerara) have arrested a male occupant of a Route 44 minibus, who was found in possession of an illegal gun and matching ammunition.According to Police reports, sometime around 00:30h on Tuesday, ranks on mobile patrol acting on information received, intercepted the Route 44 minibus on the Ogle Public Road, ECD.They then conducted a search, during which a .38 revolver along with three matching rounds were found on a male occupant. He was arrested and taken into Police custody to assist with investigations.Only last Tuesday, ranks in Georgetown arrested another man who was found with an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.Police reports revealed that around 12:00h, ranks on patrol stopped and searched a male on Duncan Street, Campbellville, during which a .32 pistol and four matching rounds were found in his possession.last_img read more

first_imgLloyda Nicholas-Garrett, who functions as Public Information and Press Services Officer for President David Granger, was a no-show at an event at State House on Wednesday. Her absence was noted as Nicholas-Garrett normally accompaniesPublic Information and Press Services Officer Lloyda Nicholas-Garrettthe Head of State at the majority of his outreaches and official events.This led to speculation that the press officer was avoiding the plethora of media personnel who, in the past several hours, made several unsuccessful attempts to contact her.Guyana Times understands that she also may be avoiding her co-workers as a source disclosed that she did not report for duty and was reportedly absent from work on Wednesday.The brewing controversy stems from alleged social media postings on Facebook where she purportedly exchanged messages with other users that included racial slurs and derogatory remarks about colleagues at the Ministry of the Presidency (MotP). The supposed leaks were shared by People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Member of Parliament (MP) Nigel Dharamlall, who called for her firing.“I would like to call for the immediate termination of the services of the Racist Staffer and a period of race relations rehabilitation for her. My taxes are not to be used to pay anyone who is racist,” Dharamlall said on Tuesday.Dharamlall’s shared post highlighted that Nicholas-Garrett and the other users, inPPP/C MP Nigel Dharamlalla seemingly private conversation made disparaging remarks against Indo-Guyanese.Following the postings of her purported derogatory remarks, sources close to the controversy related that Nicholas-Garrett was often times a “difficult” person to work with and would “pressure” subordinate staff. At Wednesday’s State House event where two Ambassadors were accredited, before being asked about issues, President Granger indicated to the press corps that he could not answer questions as he was still mourning the loss of his brother, who passed away recently.Efforts to contact Director of the Department of Public Information (DPI), Imran Khan on Wednesday proved futile. He was, however, quoted in the press as saying that he was not able to verify the authenticity of Nicholas-Garret’s comments in the screen shots and reportedly stressed that he would wait on the Public Information and Press Services Officer to address the matter herself.last_img read more

first_imgThe Canadian Press SWAN HILLS, Alta. — A large spill of crude oil and produced water at Cardinal Energy’s facility near Swan Hills is being cleaned up.The Alberta Energy Regulator has few details about Saturday’s spill on its compliance reporting website.It says 320,000 litres of the substances leaked after a problem with pump equipment.- Advertisement -The regulator says no wildlife has been affected.Cardinal Energy could not immediately be reached for comment.The facility where the spill happened is near Swan Hills, Alta., which is about 220 kilometres northwest of Edmonton.Advertisementlast_img read more

first_img1 Andre Schurrle in action for Germany Wolfsburg are still struggling to agree a deal for Chelsea winger Andre Schurrle.The Germany international is expected to leave Stamford Bridge on transfer deadline day, with the Blues in turn bringing in Fiorentina winger Juan Cuadrado.However, Wolfsburg sporting director Klaus Allofs has revealed that the two clubs are still haggling over a fee for Schurrle’s services.“There is no agreement at the moment,” Allofs told Bild. “Time is running out for us and the options are diminishing every hour. It is the money [which is holding up the deal].“[But] we will go on [and continue to negotiate].”last_img read more

first_imgPICTURE SPECIAL: PRINCE Charles and Camilla have left Donegal this evening after a visit to Glenveagh National Park.Escorted by the head gardener at Glenveagh, Sean O Gaoithin, The Prince and The Duchess visited the Walled Garden, where they were told about Glenveagh’s involvement in conservation programmes, including a seedbank programme.There was also an opportunity for the couple to see how the garden has developed over the last century. The Prince and The Duchess spent some time at the Boathouse Rooftop to see the magnificent views of the lough.The Duchess later met staff and pupils from Glenveagh Educational Centre who spent the day doing a project on bogland conservation.Pictures: Maxwells ROYAL VISIT: PICTURE SPECIAL FROM GLENVEAGH NATIONAL PARK was last modified: May 25th, 2016 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:camillacharlesdonegalglenveagh national parkJoe McHughtourismlast_img read more

first_imgA TRAVELLER allegedly involved in a funeral fracas has appealed his bail conditions in order to travel with his family for the summer.Martin McDonagh (30), The Big Isle, Manorcunningham, Letterkenny appeared at Castlebar District Court last month along with his five brothers who were all charged with assault causing harm which allegedly occurred at a family funeral in Ballyhaunis on May 16.It is alleged that the brothers committed assault causing harm on their cousin Thomas McDonagh at Abbeyguarter, Ballyhaunis, at the funeral of Martin ‘Red Breast’ McDonagh. The brothers were given bail with certain bail conditions which included to comply by a curfew, surrender their passports and sign on three days a week in Letterkenny Garda Station.McDonagh appeared in court however to lodge an application to change some of the bail conditions to allow him and his family to travel around Ireland and the UK for the summer months.The court heard that if the application was successful the father of four planned to leave with his family.McDonagh told the court that because he was a member of the traveller community he had travelled around Ireland and the UK all his life.McDonagh told the court that if his children, aged 12, 8, 5 and 2, weren’t in school he and his family would travel all year round.Asking about McDonagh’s brothers’ plans to travel, McDonagh said they too would travel ‘if you agree [to similar bail changes].’Judge Devins said she was amazed that the 30-year-old was making the application ‘relying on your ethnic status’.Superintendent Michael Cryan told the court that Mr McDonagh had failed to appear in court four times over the past ten years and that once he leaves the jurisdiction An Garda Sióchána would have ‘no control’.Replying to this, defending solicitor Ms Cathy McDarby said her client could flee the jurisdiction if he wished, as is the close proximity of his home to Northern Ireland.Judge Devins made no decision on the application but said McDonagh could renew the application next month when he will appear again with his brothers.TRAVELLER ON FUNERAL FIGHT CHARGE ASKS FOR NEW BAIL CONDITIONS TO GO TRAVELLING was last modified: June 15th, 2016 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgRed Bluff >> With 3 goals in the opening half and a pair in the second half Friday night, the Red Bluff Spartans soccer team cruised to a home win over the Enterprise Hornets, 5-1.With the win the Spartans go to 8-3-1 and are even at 1-1 in league play. They are scheduled to face the Chico Panthers (11-1-1 overall, 2-0 league) at 3:15 p.m. Wednesday in Chico.Lady Spartans 1, Enterprise 1Redding >> The Lady Spartans came from behind to tie the Enterprise Hornets Friday, 1-1, in Redding. …last_img read more

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now Do you define the negative events of your life as only negative? Is there one negative event that you have chosen to use to define yourself?Think about a recent negative event. If you’re reading this, you survived the negative event (You are at least a Phoenix, right?). What lessons did you take away? What new actions will you take now (How can you be a Hydra)?How can you intentionally overcompensate and become antifragile? I am re-reading Nicholas Nassim Taleb‘s Antifragile. It’s a fascinating book, and in my opinion, even better than his prior, more popular book, The Black Swan. Taleb was a derivatives trader, and he successfully predicted the financial crisis of 2007 − 2008 (in fact, he bet on it and made a fortune).To give you some idea about what Antifragile is about, I’ll share with you the three categories into which Taleb sorts things.The first category is called fragile. Things that are fragile are negatively affected by volatility. When something bad happens, fragile things get broken.  They’re left worse off than when they started.The second category is things that are robust. These things aren’t negatively impacted by volatility; they’re resilient. Taleb compares the robust to the mythological bird, the Phoenix. If the Phoenix is killed, it rises again from the ashes. It is not harmed by a negative event–but it isn’t made better, either.The final category is for things that are Antifragile. They are positively affected by volatility. When something bad happens, things that are antifragile actually grow stronger. Taleb uses another mythological creature, the Hydra, as an example of the antifragile. When you cut off one of the Hydra’s heads, two more heads spring up to replace it. By hurting it, you are actually increasing its power.How to Get StrongerYou’ve no doubt heard of post-traumatic stress syndrome. But what about post-traumatic growth syndrome? Did you know that some people actually grow stronger after negative events? Honestly, I had never thought of the concept before reading Taleb’s book. He confesses he hadn’t either. But when you think about it, you know people who have grown through adversity, don’t you? In fact, you might be one.When you exercise with weights, you actually tear the muscle. This is a trauma to the muscle fiber. But the muscle repairs itself and grows stronger. The same is true when you break a bone. The bone fuses itself back together and grows stronger where it was broken. It seems we humans were actually born to be antifragile–at least physically. But what do you have to change to be antifragile psychologically?The way to get stronger is take something positive from negative events. Instead of defining the event as negative (or letting it define you) you take the learning from the event and define it as positive. Like Nietzsche: “That which does not kill me makes me stronger.”last_img read more

first_imgDiego Costa is the first Chelsea player in 86 years to score in his first four gamesDiego Costa scored a hat trick as Chelsea opened an early gap atop the Premier League standings with a 4-2 win over Swansea, ending the visitors’ perfect start to the season.Costa made sure Chelsea recovered from John Terry’s early own goal as the Brazil-born Spain forward continued his stellar scoring form by making it seven goals in four league games since joining from Atletico Madrid in the offseason.He headed in an equalizer just before halftime and then added two more after the break before being substituted for another new signing in Loic Remy. The French forward added the fourth on his debut before Jonjo Shelvey pulled a late goal back for Swansea.Chelsea has a maximum 12 points from four games to sit three points above second-place Swansea. More importantly, it’s already five points ahead of Manchester City and six above Arsenal after two of its main title rivals drew 2-2 on Saturday.Chelsea plays City next weekend after midweek Champions League games for both sides.Costa started despite missing Spain’s European Championship qualifier with a hamstring injury, but it was Swansea that had the better start.Wayne Routledge volleyed wide and then dispossessed Nemanja Matic in a challenge to start the move which led to the opening goal.Ki Sung-yeung fed left-back Neil Taylor, whose cross was turned into the net by Terry.But Costa leveled when he met Cesc Fabregas’ corner with a low, firm header in the 45th. His second came in the 56th after another assist by Fabregas, who laid the ball back for Costa to finish clinically.advertisementBafetimbi Gomis had a chance to level but was unable to lift the ball over the onrushing Thibaut Courtois, who had a quiet second half in the Chelsea goal.Courtois watched from afar as Costa struck once more. Ramires scuffed his shot into the path of the striker, who pounced to complete his hat trick.?Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich smiled widely and joined in the applause as Costa departed after 72 minutes for Remy to make his debut.Remy, signed after Fernando Torres was sent on loan to AC Milan, quickly made his mark, tucking in Oscar’s pass.Shelvey pulled a goal back with four minutes to play after substitute Wilfried Bony’s incisive pass.last_img read more