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CENTRAL BANK AUDIT

Responding to rumors of forensic audit firm's impending withdrawal, BDL says it will provide answers

Responding to rumors of forensic audit firm's impending withdrawal, BDL says it will provide answers

Riad Salameh has been Banque du Liban’s governor since 1993. (Credit: AFP)

BEIRUT — Responding to rumors that the auditing firm Alvarez & Marsal, which is assigned to conduct a forensic audit of the central bank’s accounts, will withdraw from the task for the second time in just over a year, Banque du Liban said in a statement on Tuesday that it is currently studying the auditors’ inquiries and will “provide the proposed answers to prevent any obstacle in the way of the Alvarez & Marsal firm’s work.”

Here’s what we know:

    • In its statement, BDL said that on Sept. 27, BDL was provided with an amended copy of the government’s contract with the auditing company, which asked them to install logistical support items such as computers and software required by the auditing firm in the Finance Ministry’s office.

    • The statement also said that on Oct. 21, BDL had successfully installed the materials required by the auditing firm on the Finance Ministry’s main computer.

    • The statement added that on Nov. 11, the Finance Minister had asked BDL to clarify some points requested by the auditing firm regarding the information provided by BDL and that the central bank is currently studying the data.

    • BDL’s statement comes after Nidaa Al-Watan newspaper reported on Tuesday morning that Alvarez & Marsal would withdraw in the next 24 hours due to BDL’s stalling in providing the requested documents. MP Simon Abi Ramia (FPM-Jbeil) tweeted earlier today about the issue, saying, “BDL’s refusal to provide the required documents to Alvarez & Marsal draws suspicion and assures the presence of a mafia cartel that aims to prevent the audit of BDL and the Lebanese public institutions.”

    • In November 2020, Alvarez & Marsal had pulled out of the forensic audit, reportedly because it had not received the information required to carry out the task.


BEIRUT — Responding to rumors that the auditing firm Alvarez & Marsal, which is assigned to conduct a forensic audit of the central bank’s accounts, will withdraw from the task for the second time in just over a year, Banque du Liban said in a statement on Tuesday that it is currently studying the auditors’ inquiries and will “provide the proposed answers to prevent any obstacle in...