LIBERIA: ‘We Will All Be Audited’

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In the fight to transparency and accountability with the sole purpose of promoting open government that works for the benefit of all, the Liberian Senate through its Chair on Rules, Order and Administration (ROA) has released a major policy statement.

Maryland County Senator and Chair of the Senate’s ROA, Gbleh-Bo Brown, said in an effort to lead the process of an open government initiative, all Senators and staffers as low as janitors will be audited.

Sen. Brown made the assertion Thursday, April 25, 2024 at the official opening of a two-day training of for 10 volunteers within the Legislative Information Service (LIS) Department by the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Secretariat. The training, which is aimed at educating the 10 volunteers to track the statuses of bill and the performances of lawmakers, is being supported by the United Development Program (UNDP) with funding from the Governments of Luxemburg and the Republic of Korea.

“On behalf of the President Pro-Tempore of the Liberian Senate, I would like to urge the beneficiaries of this training to take the opportunity very seriously, because this is a very good initiative. It encourages citizens’ participation and promotes accountability and transparency. It enhances peace and stability and it removes suspicion.”

“I have come to commit our body to openness. As part of our effort, we invited the General Auditing Commission and the GAC has done a system audit. And what I can assure is that, we will all be audited. The Senate will not be a pastor who says, do what I preach but don’t do what I do. We are opened to an open bidding process and we did that for our petroleum suppliers. We have been working on our payroll management system. The bank only gave them net pay, but there should be pay slip for every employee of the Liberian Senate – from Senators to Janitors. My plea is that this should not only end with the Legislature.”

Mr. G. Ralph Jimmeh, Head of the OGP Secretariat, said the initiative is intended to help government to be more opened, transparent and responsive.

“We are training 10 volunteers to track the statuses of bill, the performances of lawmakers within specific sector such as health, education and tourism because these are captured under the President’s arrest agenda. These interns will work with the Offices of the House Clerk and Secretary of the Senate on the status of these bills and post them on our platform. We look forward to working with the LIS as we hope to keep the Legislature opened and transparent,” Ralph stated.

Also in remarks, the Chairperson of the House Committee on Good Governance, Foday Fahnbulleh, stressed the importance to bring government closer to its people.

By this, he asserted that the government will in turn adequately work for its people, hence; whatever developmental agenda will be achieved.

“For us, as Chair on Good Governance, we will ensure that the interest of the people is served. Some of us have already declared and published our assets and we are calling on other colleagues to follow suit,” he added.

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