Months after his removal as Director General of the Internal Audit Agency (IAA), reports are emerging with claims that Mr.Paul Collins was fraught with administrative malpractices and that he exited the agency with a government purchased vehicles worth more than US$60,000.
A 2013 Act of the Legislature established the IAA to help improve public sector performance through setting up and directing internal audit functions within all branches of Government including the Executive, Legislative and Judiciary; and all public entities.
The law empowers 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.”
Collins would become the first Director General and served until the inception of the Weah administration when he was relieved of his post by President George Weah and replaced by Mr. Emmanuel Barthan Nyeswa.
But multiple sources and documents suggest that Collins did not practice what he was preaching to other heads of ministries and agencies. Many staff were recruited on the basis of social and family connections and not competence, one account alleges.
The trending accusation now is how a brand new Toyota Land Cruiser Prado Jeep , with VIN # JTEBD9FJ4FKO16440, valued at US$65,000 bought from Efficient Logistics for Collins use as the Agency’s chief was diverted into personal property.
The ex- Internal Audit Chief was calmed when these allegations were presented to him for comments. While he would like to know and face his accusers, he agreed encountering the police and the then presidential taskforce that was tracking and retrieving government’s vehicles from former public officials on suspicion and misinformation that he had taken public property into private custody.
He does not have a government vehicle, Collins said, blaming his former workmates of being the masterminds of the false information.
“Individual doesn’t easily purchase car at IAA. It is the Ministry of Finance that does that and in so doing the Ministry bought two Prados for us and they were coded by GSA,” he explained.
“My wife is not using any vehicle as claimed by your report. In fact, I was never the main signatory to any account and I could not have bought any car.
“Again, the two Prados in question were left at the entity. We rented vehicles from Efficient Logistics to do audits. We never bought a single vehicle from Efficient and there is no record on that to prove. During my time, I was never a part of any procurement process. I don’t remember us buying car from Efficient Logistics.“
Although Collins claimed he has no idea of Efficient Logistics selling a car to IAA, the company told this paper it did. Efficient Logistics’ statement tallies with a 2015 delivery note and Hand to hand bill of sale.
Credible sources have informed this paper that the current Management Team at the IAA has asked Police Inspector General Patrick Sedue to assist the Agency retrieve the vehicle from Mr. Collins
Regarding employment outside of Human Resource standards, Collins said “I don’t employ people at IAA, that is the work of HR. All employment processes passed through the HR.
“For senior level positions, people must go through a vigorous process; they must take test and pass it. Before I promoted somebody, your supervisor must have first made the recommendation by writing officially and present your file with your full report.
“Nyeswa and I were best of all friends before his appointment. I didn’t know how deep he was until he was appointed. In fact, my wife used to cook and we eat together. We were brothers until in recent times.
But again, I cannot destroy an entity that I created. This is my legacy. No one can talk about the IAA without mentioning me.