GAC Provides Clarity on Incorrect Salaries Comparison Between AG Morlu, Others

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
December 31, 2009


The General Auditing Commission (GAC) says it is concerned about the continued mistaken comparison often made in some quarters regarding salaries earned by high public officials, particularly salaries and benefits received by Auditor General John S. Morlu,II and other public officials, including Maritime Commissioner Beyan Keselly.

A press release quotes GAC’s Director of Communications Ernest S. Maximore as saying that the GAC was commenting to the mistaken comparison and analysis occasioning the high salary debate because the public is being fed with half-baked truths and faulty analogies.

GAC observes that the false salary comparison has often been made between internationally paid Auditor-General Morlu and former Minister Sayeh on the one hand and individuals, including the Maritime boss who are paid from Liberian taxpayers monies on the other.

According to GAC release, Auditor General Morlu and Maritime Commissioner Biyan Kessely do not fall in the same category and comparing the salaries of the two without mentioning the distinctive features and conditions is a disincentive to the public which betrays the purpose and intent of the salary debate.

The releases says the fact of the salary comparison often shoved under the carpet is that unlike Maritime Commissioner Kessely who, like any other minister, was singularly handpicked and appointed by President Sirleaf and paid from the country’s Maritime holdings, Auditor General Morlu is directly paid from and by European Union’s taxpayers and following competitive bidding which was advertised and published in more 150 countries and attracting more than 140 applicants comprising Liberians and non-Liberians.

GAC release says unlike Maritime’s Kessely who does not have to submit monthly time sheet and invoices to justify every hour worked in Liberia and to document his performance, AG Morlu does not have such a luxury of loitering but sends his working time sheet every month to the EU documenting very hour of work.

The GAC release says it makes more logic and sense to justify Kessely “highest” pay salary on the basis of the merit of his case, than on a highly incorrect comparison with AG Morlu’s. Besides, Commissioner Kessely does not have the same level of education, experience and professional credential as AG Morlu nor does he have the same level of responsibility as an Auditor General.

GAC says such comparison is like comparing all the GEMAP people, World Bank Consultants, ADB Consultants, IMF Consultants, and US Consultants with local staff. Perhaps AG Morlu’s only curse is that he is a Liberian and those consultants are non-Liberians.

GAC says it is sure that every minister or head of a Commission or public corporation would like to be paid like Kessely. After all, their recruitment process was the same as was everyone else.

GAC release rhetorically asked:Does Kessely has more experience, education and credential than the Minister of Finance, Minister of Planning, Minister of Public Works, Minister of Post, NIC Chairman, Minister of Labor, Minister of Health, LPRC MD, RIA MD, Chairman of Governance Commission, Chairman of National Elections Commission, TRC Chairman, etc.?

So, none of these people have to be independent in mind and in thoughts? As far as the law is concerned, GAC, NEC and CSA are the three independent commissions in Article 89 of the Liberian Constitution.

Where is the law or international standards that say a Maritime bureau should be independent? Chapter 53 of the Executive Law of 1972, 1977 LIMA Declarations, 2007 Mexican Declaration and the INTOSAI Standards on Auditing requires the Auditor General to be independent. Where is the reliance, whether local or international standards that calls for an independent of a Bureau or Commission like the Bureau of Maritime Affairs?

Let EU, World Bank, US, IMF etc recruit internationally and pay the Maritime Commissioner.

GAC says the Government of Liberia is under obligation to release AG Morlu’s salary and that of Kessely including all travel, housing, and car etc benefits. And then the Liberian people and our international partners will compare the EU compensation and with what the Liberian taxpayers are paying the Maritime Commissioner.

GAC release further says it would prove that Kessely makes more with Liberian taxpayers’ monies than what the EU is paying AG Morlu. New Democrat reported that AG Morlu makes US$15,000 per month or Euros 11,000 per month. This figure is correct. AG Morlu wishes he had the kind of money and benefits of a Maritime boss, who was handpicked and does not have to justify every day of his job existence. Maritime boss does not have to justify his monthly performance.

The release says, it is possible that the BMA boss’s travel budget and gas coupons are more than what AG Morlu can make in a year.

EU pays AG Morlu less than the Liberian taxpayers are paying a Maritime boss, whose experience, education and credential cannot be compared with AG Morlu. LISCR is also doing the bunch of the work for the Maritime.

GAC has since expressed concerned that there should be full transparency in Government. Government of Liberia should disclose total compensation for all heads of ministries, agencies, commissions and public corporations. The patronage system must come to an end in Liberia to ensure effective fiscal propriety and system and control.

For Further Information, Please Contact Ernest S.Maximore,

Director of Communications, GAC Tel: 06578794/04949926

SIGNED: ____________________________

© 2009 by The Perspective

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