Nearly a month has passed since the Lebanese government signed a contract with a US-based firm to conduct the awaited forensic audit of the central bank. On Tuesday, the Banque du Liban (BDL) announced an update regarding the audit’s progress.
The BDL said in a statement that it handed over on Tuesday all the requested documents and information allowed by Lebanese laws to the state commissioner to the central bank.
The submitted documents are “in line with the stipulations of the contract signed between the Finance Ministry and the Alvarez & Marsal Middle East Limited (A&M) firm, which is tasked with the forensic audit,” the statement read.
The company was recently assigned by the Cabinet to resolve the dispute that has been blocking the progress of Lebanon’s negotiation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for months.
The said dispute revolves around the country’s loss figures, which have differed starkly in the two versions presented by each of the central bank and the government.
In addition to the New York-based Alvarez and Marsal, the government hired two other companies, KPMG and Oliver Wyman, to conduct traditional accounting audits of the BDL’s accounts.
On paper, the audit should reveal new information related to corruption and the theft of public funds in Lebanon, paving the way for the much-needed reforms that would be the country’s only way to earn the financial support of the international community.