John S. Morlu II
Auditor General, Liberia
Building a Reform Team and Staff, Containing Patronage Pressures
Sun Jul 16 0209
John S. Morlu II, the auditor general of Liberia, discusses his role in reforming the General Auditing Commission. He explains how he reviewed the national budget and tackled errors and the government’s inability to disclose surpluses. Though Morlu faced resistance from government officials, the media and civil society supported him. Civil servants were also willing to offer him reliable data and documentary evidence on collected and unreported revenues. He made audit reports easily accessible to civil society groups and international partners. Morlu was also involved in capacity building. Due to patronage and partisanship, he fired the old GAC staff and introduced an examination system to recruit new workers. During training, he was assisted by the European Union, the World Bank, and by auditors from Ghana, Zambia and South Africa. Morlu also pushed for legislation like the Freedom of Information Act and the Public Finance Law, which would improve and facilitate his work as an auditor. He strove to depersonalize the GAC by focusing on building it from a departmental level to make it accountable and sustainable.
At the time of this interview, John S. Morlu II was the auditor general of Liberia. He previously served as an audit manager for Unisys Corp., of the U.S. He also worked in public governance and financial management in Singapore, Malaysia, Russia and other countries. Morlu earned a bachelor's degree in economics and international relations from the University of Virginia, a master's in international commerce and policy from George Mason University, a master's in business administration in finance from Johns Hopkins University, and several professional certifications in accounting and auditing.