By Sami Zaptia.
London, 4 February 2020:
Libya’s Tripoli-based Audit Bureau has suspended several government employees holding dual management roles as part of its drive to reduce conflict of interest and improve governance within Libya’s bureaucracy. The suspensions have come through several decree (655, 657, 658, 659, 660 and 661) affecting positions in the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) and its various subsidiaries.
The Audit Bureau explained that conflict of interest is a situation in which a person is in a state of mistrust and the integrity of his decisions under question and always under challenge. This phenomenon is considered one of the most serious negative phenomena that threaten Libya’s economic institutions, both in terms of performance and in terms of the exploitation of the job to achieve special interests.
It adds that this phenomenon allows officials of these institutions to hide or distort data, making the reports issued by these institutions not reflective their reality and performance.
Some of the most important forms of conflict of interest in our economic institutions are combining the position of chairman or board member with the position of executive director, combining the position of chairman or board member of a holding company with the position of chairman or board member of a subsidiary.
These phenomena lead to confusion between different levels of management (accountability- supervision – implementation) and thus the takeover of the entire roles of certain levels of management, the Audit Bureau added.
This can lead to the absence of supervision and follow-up because it is not valid and the non-acceptance that a person should follow up and supervise him.
It can also lead to the absence of the role of accountability and oversight, as it is also not right for a person to hold himself accountable.
The Audit Bureau adds that the more serious issue is the lack of reliability in the data and reports issued as a result of this conflict of interest, as this data was prepared and audited under the influence of the executive management as a result of the weak independence of the Board of Directors and the General Assembly.
It adds that the main motivation for the existence of this phenomenon is to obtain rewards and benefits, hide data and cover up poor performance.