Maryland County Senator John Ballout
Senator Ballout Urges Continued Senate Support To Ebola Fight
By Winnie Dixon
MONROVIA, October 1 (LINA) – Maryland County Senator John Ballout has pleaded with the Senate to continue releasing funds for the Ebola fight, even as it has resolved to audit expenditure of the US$5million and other allotments made in that direction.
His plea came minutes before the plenary mandated its Committee on Public Accounts to audit within two weeks the National Task Force on Ebola and advise on the US$5million and US$250,000 Ebola Emergency funds as well as social and county development funds used in the fight against Ebola.
According to him, the aim of the audit should not be “unduly critical” because the President has indicated that all line ministries will have to account for allocations made in August against the initial emergency fund.
Senator Ballout observed that the US$5million audit needs to be done with caution so as not to create the impression that the Senate is welcoming distractions in the Ebola crisis, which is overwhelming the lives of Liberians daily.
Earlier, Senators Sando Johnson of Bomi, Geraldine Doe-Sheriff of Montserrado and Nyonblee Kangar Lawrence of Grand Bassa counties had expressed concern in a communication to the plenary about the expenditure of the US$5 million Ebola funds and called for a report and audit of the funds by the General Auditing Commission.
Barely two days after the expression of their concerns, the President submitted to the Senate plenary a report on the disbursement of the initial US$5 million Ebola Emergency fund, at which time she informed it that the US$5 million allocation was inadequate to fund the Ebola crisis, and stressed the need for additional funds.