Audit: Contracts awarded in Liberia violate law

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MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — A new audit is raising concerns about how the Liberian government has awarded billions of dollars in contracts to multinational companies.

Alfred Brownell, who serves on the board of the group that ordered the audit, says only two of the 68 contracts reviewed were found to be in compliance. He estimates that the hasty and inappropriate awarding of concessions to multinationals covers $8 billion, half the direct foreign investment Liberia has attracted since 2009 under the government of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Liberia's information minister said the government is preparing a response to the draft report.

Liberia's economy is recovering from years of civil war that ended in 2003. The country is rich in timber and companies are also conducting oil exploration projects.

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