Presidential Council Office Hands Over the CBL International Audit Report to Offices of Kabir and Hibri – Al Marsad

The Office of the Presidential Council officially handed over on Saturday the financial audit report of the accounts of the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) to the office of the Governor in Tripoli, Siddik Al-Kabir, and to the office of the Deputy Governor in Bayda, Ali al-Hibri. Libyan experts want the full audit report to be made available to the public for scrutiny.

(LIBYA, 18 July 2021) – The Chairman of the Presidential Council, Mohamed al-Menfi, had received the CBL audit report from the UN Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ján Kubiš, during a public session on 8 July 2021. Al-Menfi commended the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) for overcoming all technical difficulties that faced the completion of the audit.

The auditing was conducted by Deloitte, specialized in financial auditing, and took two years to audit the accounts of the CBL in Tripoli and Bayda, with the aim of restoring integrity, transparency and confidence in the Libyan financial system, and creating the appropriate conditions for the unification of financial institutions.

The CBL Audit report is yet to be made public. There have been calls by the Libyan public to make the full audit report available to the public immediately. The commission and completion of the audit of the CBL was continuously delayed by Siddik al-Kabir, but at the conference in Palermo in November 2018 the Libyan National Army (LNA) and other Libyan stakeholders had made the audit report a prerequisite for progress on peace.

The US State Department had stated recently that the fiscal accounting by Libyan institutions fell short of international standards and that “Libya does not yet fully use internationally accepted accounting principles.” Although this statement referred to primarily the Tripoli Audit Bureau’s quality of work, or lack of it, the US State Department also mentioned that the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) did “not disclose its source of funding or general approach to withdrawals”.

Following the audit report on the Central Bank of Libya (CBL), the US State Department said that fiscal transparency in Libya would be improved by the following measures:

1) publishing complete and reliable budget documents within a reasonable period of time;
2) disclosing in its budget documents information on debt obligations, including state-owned enterprise debt and other financial data;
3) publishing expenditures to support executive offices;
4) establishing a supreme audit institution that meets international standards of independence;
5) subjecting military and intelligence budgets to further civilian oversight;
6) fully adopting internationally accepted accounting principles;
7) making supreme audit institution reports of the government’s executed budget and state-owned enterprises publicly available within a reasonable period of time; and
8) ensuring the sovereign wealth fund discloses its source of funding or general approach to withdrawals.

© ALMARSAD ENGLISH (2021)