Representing the Lebanese government, Finance Minister Youssef Khalil signed a forensic auditing contract with Alvarez & Marsal on Friday.
Minister Khalil signed the contract after receiving approval from Lebanon’s Audit Bureau.
He then informed President Michel Aoun, Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri, and Prime Minister Najib Mikati of the move.
In accordance with the contract, Alvarez & Marsala, a New York-based firm that had previously signed a similar contract with Lebanon, will submit its initial report to Khalil within 12 weeks of its team’s first workday.
The new contract comes almost a year after Alvarez & Marsal canceled its contract, which entailed the forensic auditing of the Central Bank of Lebanon’s (BDL) accounts, with the Lebanese government.
The cancelation was the result of the central bank‘s refusal to submit documents and provide certain information required for the process.
At the time, the BDL cited banking secrecy laws as the reason behind its refusal to cooperate.
Talks about the firm’s return to the audit surfaced a few months ago alongside reports that the BDL had finally provided all required documents, weeks after Parliament agreed to lift banking secrecy for a year.
A forensic audit into BDL accounts is one of the main requests of the International Monetary Fund in order to provide financial assistance to Lebanon.