Firms in the Frame for Liberia Monitoring

Wednesday, September 25, 2002
Three international accounting firms have submitted bids to monitor the way in which Liberian ship registry revenues are allocated for expenditure by the Liberian government. At a ceremony yesterday in the Liberian capital Monrovia, first-stage bids were confirmed from Deloitte Touche, Ernst & Young, and KMPG covering the technical specifications of the proposed monitoring program. The second-stage bids, covering costs, will follow within the next 24 hours. The ceremony was attended by representatives of the European Union, the United Nations and the US embassy in Liberia, and by the governor of the Central Bank of Liberia and the country's finance minister. The outcome of the bidding process is expected to be announced by the end of this week. The decision to invite bids from the three accounting majors was made following a recommendation by the sanctions committee of the UN Security Council for a thorough accounting of the way in which maritime revenues are disbursed by the Liberian government. Yoram Cohen, CEO of the US-based Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry, which manages the Liberian registry, said, "LISCR is delighted that the bidding process is under way, and looks forward to co-operating in every way possible with the successful bidder. We applaud the Liberian government for having the courage to take such an initiative. "We confidently expect that the appointment of an independent auditor, of international repute, will put an end to any uncertainty about the manner in which Liberian ship registry revenues are being used, and will allow the registry to get on with the job of doing what it does best - running the world's best managed, most efficient, safest - and now most financially transparent - ship register in the world. "This is a major boost for the register, for LISCR and, most importantly, for all those owners and operators whose ships fly the Liberian flag."

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