The public disagreement between the Ministry of Finance and the Governor of the Central Bank of Lebanon on criminal control will only mean more to block the material over time, the more complex it becomes. Riad Salameh will issue an opinion confirming the decision of the Banque du Lebanese Central Council to cooperate with the audit firm and then announcing that he has closed all the central bank accounts on 13 October. Although monitoring sources assume that Salameh’s statement was a response to the position of the President of the Republic who spoke the day before yesterday (in an interview with colleague Adam Shams al-Din on the Al-Jadid website) that the content of the opinion does not differ from the content of the last book received from the Banque du Liban. That’s why Wazni issued a statement on Twitter condemning Salama’s words, claiming that the information he provided that day was only a fraction of the information requested by Alvarez & Marsal Company, which is responsible for auditing central bank accounts.
The struggle for control of crime, which the President of the Republic described as a struggle for liberation, is “happening,” as he told my colleague Shams al-Din. But it does not obscure the fact that “the work continued for a week. Four months sent them correspondence and letters, and then people asked what a criminal audit looks like?”
A few want criminal control. The four months that have passed since the adoption of Law No. 200 are full of correspondence in which there is no job but a waste of time. As for the Banque du Liban’s continued assurance of co-operation with the inspection, this did not mean complying with Alvarez & Marsal Company’s requests to continue its work. The company has previously mentioned these requests in two separate letters to the Ministry of Finance (January 6, 2012 and February 28, 2021). The company requested that the Banque du Liban provide concrete evidence of cooperation with it by sending information which it had previously refused to provide to the Ministry of Finance, provided that the latter replied, and then sent it to the company for assessment. If the initiation of the inspection is sufficient, it shall notify the Lebanese Government of its final decision to conclude a new agreement.
All of the above simply means that a long waiting period can end with a company refusing to do the job, which requires finding a new company to transfer the job and thus the need for additional months.
As a result, the Banque du Lebanese governor’s statement and the finance minister’s response were just a continuation of a “formal” dispute that had begun to follow the record that the Banque du Lebanese governor Liban sent to the finance minister and a reply letter from Ghazi Wazni to Riad Salameh.
Following a meeting of the Bank’s Central Council on 24 March, Mr Salameh wrote to the Minister of Finance informing him that the Central Council had taken a second decision on cooperation with Alvarez & Marsal (the first decision was made on 10 February), confirming the Bank’s commitment to cooperation with all finance ministers. establishment of accounts and bank accounts.
The Central Council approves making the computer available to the audit community!
On 13 October 2020, the Bank announced in a letter that it had forwarded all its accounts to the Minister of Finance through the Commissioner of the Banque du Lebanese Government. He stressed that “I am fully prepared to secure all the facilities that guarantee the company in question, to initiate the verification process.” To this end, “the Central Council considers it more appropriate to provide a separate computer for the company to download all the necessary information”.
As in all previous books, the Bank reiterated the need not to use this information except to those who have the ability to do so and in the circumstances and for the purposes for which it was provided, and not to share this information with any internal information. or an outside party other than the one with whom it has entered into an agreement.
The book from the Central Bank of Lebanon arrived at the Ministry of Finance five days after its publication, on March 29, and the Minister of Finance responded to it yesterday, confirming what was said in his statement via Twitter about his rejection. a statement from the bank that it had surrendered all its accounts. Wazni explained that what the Banque du Liban provided on paper to the Ministry of Finance “are not accounts belonging to the Banque du Liban, but consist of documents and information needed by” Alvarez & Marsal “in the list of requests for information. He recalled that this information” does not Wazni emphasized that the information provided to the Ministry of Finance was only a modest part of the information required in the list, including the request for information on accounts and accounts; the accounts. were not sufficient to initiate the forensic inspection process. systems, the structure and organizational work of the Bank, the administrative and supervisory rules adopted by it, the technology collection infrastructure, the data and the electronic equipment of the Bank.
Wazni recalled a letter sent to the Ministry of Lightning on 14 October 2020 in which he explicitly confirmed that 42% of the required documents had been deposited and that the rest were in breach of applicable law and that some of them could not be answered due to their contact with the company. , which the bank had absolutely refused.
Wazni asked: In the light of the desired cooperation and the provisions of the law, is it possible to remove banking secrecy due to the need for an audit, that finance expects the remaining 58% of the information provided by the Banque du Lebanon and the list of information required by «Alvarez»? If this is achieved, the second stage is to inform the company of the outcome of this match in accordance with what it proposed to restore the confidence that had been lost in its relations with the Banque du Lebanon and to achieve it, after the evaluation, to make a final decision?
Similarly, Wazni confirmed that “what the Central Council considered to be the submission of accounts is an erroneous event and inconsistent with reality.”
In response to the Central Council’s proposal to provide a separate computer for the company, Wazni said the latter has requested access to the central bank’s accounting system and stay in the bank building since its inception because documents do not have to be taken out of the building to perform its duties and is not an independent computer.
Even the bank’s reference to the need and the need to respect the confidentiality of information not to use it except for those who have the capacity and who do not share it with any third party or an internal party, my weight did not care for it, which shows that this is “only a false fear”.
What is happening after this heated debate between the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Lebanon? The next round will be held in a virtual meeting held by both parties with the company “Alvarez & Marsal”, which confirmed its importance. Is it the actual start of a criminal investigation or a new round towards more obstacles?
Subscribe to YouTube’s «news» here