File No. 882.51/764

Minister Curtis to the Secretary of State

No. 138

Sir: I have the honor to enclose herewith for the further information of the Department copy of an act entitled “An Act creating a Government Auditor, prescribing his duties and authority,”5 which was passed by the Legislature of Liberia at the recent call session thereof, conformable to the program of administrative reform suggested by Department, and also copy of Note 345/D., under date of September 21, 1917,5 from the Liberian Government whereby I am requested to implore the Government of the United States on behalf of the Liberian Government to use its good offices in procuring a suitable person for said post.

It will be observed in reading the provisions of said Act that Section 2 thereof empowers said Auditor, inter alia, to examine, audit and settle all accounts pertaining to the revenues and receipts from whatever source of the Liberian Government, the Customs Receivership and Liberian Frontier Force; that Section 3 thereof creates a Board of Review to be composed of the President of Liberia, the Secretary of the Treasury and the Financial Adviser, and that Section 6 thereof makes the said Board of Review the court of last resort in the settlement of the accounts of the executive branches of the Government, where an appeal in writing is made to it by any such branch of the Government within six months.

[Page 894]

It will further be observed that the Secretary of the Treasury, who by the said act is made a member of said Board of Review, is thus empowered to pass upon an appeal which might conceivably be based upon an exception taken by his Department (Sec. 6).

The advisability of amending the law so as to delete any feature that may give ground for criticism, by the most captious, concerning the absolute impartiality of the auditing, examination and final settlement of the claims and accounts of those having business relations with the Liberian Government, has been unofficially brought to the attention of the Liberian Government by me and the President unhesitatingly stated to me that the broached objections under discussion are well-founded.

It is therefore probable that suitable amendments to said law will be suggested by him to the regular session of the Legislature which convenes the first Monday in December 1917.

I have [etc.]

James L. Curtis
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  2. Not printed.