On 17 August, the chairman of the board of directors of the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) referred the matter to the chairman of the Bank’s audit committee to request the opening of an investigation into the actions of the governor, upon the recent recruitment.
This referral is related to the irregularities decried by some officials of the central bank which organized on 28 May last a recruitment competition for senior management staff. “You will issue a reasoned opinion on the actions, acts, writings and words of the governor through the analysis of the texts identified above (Convention of the Monetary Union of Central Africa, statutes of the BEAC, Code of Ethics of the BEAC) and other relevant texts that you will have to identify, by determining whether they are in conformity or in contradiction with these texts. This work, which you may carry out yourself or, in part, through the Directorate General of General Control over which you exercise functional hierarchical authority on behalf of the Board of Directors, will be sanctioned by a report with relevant recommendations to be made to the Board of Directors,” writes Hervé Ndoba.
The chairman explains that he is asking, among other things, for an investigation of the governor of the Central Bank, Chadian Abbas Mah because the latter, when questioned about the problems (nepotism, cheating: editor’s note) that marred the recruitment process, sent him a letter arguing that he cannot stop the process at the request of the PCA, because this would constitute a “dangerous precedent“. And that interference in the management of the BEAC would be a violation of the sacrosanct principle of independence of the Central Bank.
However, according to the Chairman, concerns about this recruitment competition have been “widely” documented subsequently. Moreover, the firm that was supposed to have carried out the recruitment process “from start to finish” denies that this was the case. Also, internal alerts corroborate all of Mr Ndoba’s fears.
For the time being, the response of the chairman of the BEAC audit committee to this request from the latter is not yet known. But the opening of an investigation into the actions of the governor of the Central Bank in the context of this recruitment is a sign that tension remains high within this institution common to the six countries of the Cemac (Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, Chad, CAR, Equatorial Guinea).
Indeed, questioned on these “incidents” (cases of cheating, possible substitution of candidates, late delivery of tests, non-compliance with the schedule of the examination in some centres: particularly in Cameroon and Gabon) which have marred the recruitment competition, according to the words of the Director General of Control in BEAC, Abbas Mahamat Tolli has opposed a no-go. Firstly, to recall that the recruitment process underway is done according to the rules of the art. “(…) I would first like to reassure you that the recruitment process underway is conducted and organised from start to finish by an international firm of great reputation and chosen through an international call for tenders, and which benefits from the support of an ad hoc committee set up within the bank,” Abbas Mahamat Tolli replied to the PCA.
Then, on the basis of regulatory provisions governing the functioning and management of the central bank, which he enumerated, the governor of the BEAC protested against the interference of the PCA in a matter that does not fall within his competence.