LIBERIA JOINS OTHER COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD TO CELEBRATE NATIONAL ANTI-CORRUPTION DAY (IACD) ON DECEMBER 2.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020 – Liberia joins other countries around the world to celebrate International Anti-Corruption Day (IACD) on December 2.

The Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) in partnership with CENTAL is organizing this year celebration.

According to the Executive Chairperson of the LACC, this year’s celebration is under the theme, “Reducing Corruption in the Private Sector as a Drive to enhance Economic Development and Good Governance” and unlike past celebrations; will take place in Monrovia under strict COVID-19 restrictions.

Cllr. Ndubuisi Nwabudike said that the LACC in compliance with the principles of United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) and the Global Campaign Against Corruption celebrates International Anti-Corruption Day on December 9th of every year.

However, he noted that due to the mid-term Senatorial elections scheduled for December 8th the Commission brought the day forward due to the closeness in proximity of the elections.

The Executive Chairperson stated that the day is being celebrated in collaboration with Integrity Institutions, Civil Society Organizations and National and International Partners and along with members of the business community.

The International Anti-Corruption Day serves as a valuable opportunity for organizations and individuals worldwide to raise awareness about corruption and to promote anti-corruption activities.

INTEGRITY INSTITUTIONS PRESENT NATIONAL ANTI-CORRUPTION CONFERENCE RESOULTION TO PRESIDENT GEORGE M. WEAH

INTEGRITY INSTITUTIONS PRESENT NATIONAL ANTI-CORRUPTION CONFERENCE RESOULTION TO PRESIDENT GEORGE M. WEAH

Monrovia, November 9, 2020 – The Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) along with other integrity institutions have presented to President George M. Weah the resolutions of the just ended National Anti-Corruption Conference (NACC).

Making the presentation on behalf of the integrity bodies recently in Monrovia, the Executive Chairperson of the LACC gave an overview of the NACC and said the Conference was organized in keeping with Pillar Four of the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD).

Cllr. A. Ndubuisi Nwabudike noted that in preparation for the NACC, three Regional Conferences were held around the country including one Sectorial meeting with civil society was held in Monrovia.

He said that the regional conferences and sectorial meeting was centered on three thematic areas namely; Reform of the laws; Compliance and Political Will and highlighted key recommendations reflecting citizens’ views from the counties and from participants from the sectorial meeting.

In response, President George M. Weah thanked the integrity institutions for organizing the NACC and promised his unflinching and unwavering support in the fight against corruption and to actualize the recommendations in the Resolution.

He urged the Minister of Finance and Development Planning to support the integrity institutions in their work and promised to lobby with international partners to support the anti-graft bodies.

The presentation ceremony was attended by heads of integrity institutions including the General Auditing Commission (GAC); the Internal Auditing Agency (IAA); the Governance Commission (GC), Public Procurement and Concessions Commission (PPCC); Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU); Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiatives (LEITI); and the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA).

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Edwin J. Clarke, Jr.

Public Relations Officer

LACC EXECUTIVE CHAIRPESRON SPEAKS AT PAC RETREAT

Monrovia, October 30, 2020 – The Executive Chairperson of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) says that there should be a genuine commitment on overall anti-corruption efforts in Liberia by ensuring the establishment of a Specialized Court for corruption cases.

Cllr. A. Ndubuisi Nwabudike noted that the LACC needs to be well equipped with the needed logistics and funding to support its investigative operations and prosecution of corruption cases, and to also elevate its anti-corruption programs all across the country.

Cllr. Nwabudike was speaking in Gompa City, Nimba County when he addressed a National Retreat organized by the Joint Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Legislature on October 21, 2020

The anti-graft boss said that the LACC would greatly contribute to enhancing government’s integrity by ensuring accountability and transparency in the governance system through a robust investigation and prosecution of corruption cases only if the political will in sustaining the fight against corruption is mustered by central government. 

He noted that the Investigation and Enforcement Division of the LACC reported that between 2009 to July 2019; a total of 299 cases were reported to the Commission of which 177 cases were closed due to insufficient evidence and lack of jurisdiction.

Cllr. Nwabudike acknowledged that although the LACC is challenged by the lack of adequate logistics including computers to fast track the completion of investigative reports, as well as limited fuel supply and funding to support investigative operations and prosecution, the Commission still carrying out its mandate to investigate and prosecute individuals charged with corruption.

The LACC Chairperson, also highlighted the just ended National Anti-Corruption Conference and assured PAC that the resolutions will be released shortly.

The four-day retreat was attended by integrity institution heads or their representatives who also made presentations including the General Auditing Commission (GAC); the Governance Commission (GC); the Public Procurement and Concessions Commission (PPCC) and the Internal Audit Agency (IAA) as well as the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission.

LACC PARTICITPATES IN PAPD RETREAT

Monrovia, November 2, 2020 – As part of efforts to revise the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD), the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning held a two day Retreat in Ganta, Nimba County from October 22-24, 2020.

The objectives of the retreat was to review the PAPD Results Matrix to reflect the current economic realities; to know the extent of the impact of the COVID-19 on the economy and to encourage all Government Institutions to take ownership of the document.

The LACC was represented by Mrs. Jeant Sonpon-Sarsih, Program Manager for Administration and Robert Jarwleh, Research Officer

The Retreat was organized on Pillars 3 and 4 perspectives. Pillar 3 has five sectors, while Pillar 4 has two sectors; (Building Capable State & Reducing Corruption).

The Reducing Corruption Sector comprises of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), the General Auditing Commission (GAC) and the Internal Auditing Agency (IAA), while Building a Capable State consists of the Governance Commission (GC), the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), Civil Service Agency (CSA), National Elections Commission (NEC), National Identification Registry (NIR), Ministry of Justice (MOJ), & Ministry of Defense (MOD).

The PAPD review mechanism has three components which includes; the review of the PAPD Results Matrix, synchronization and harmonization of the new target/validation and the presentation of the Revised PAPD to the President for onward presentation to the citizens of Liberia.

These three levels are expected to be accomplished by December.

The PAPD serves as a strategic policy instrument designed to alleviate poverty and accelerate economic growth and sustainable development. However, the COVID-19 pandemic did not only underpin Government’s effort to mobilize the needed resources in terms of revenue generations, but its quest to secure funding from financial institutions and international partners.

The ongoing review process of the PAPD is meant to redesign and formulate realistic and achievable strategies that will be used to foster government’s development agenda for the next three years.

REPORT ON PAC WORKSHOP

This report is on a five-day retreat held in preparation for upcoming Public Hearings on the Auditor General’s reports and the enhancement of the capacity of Public Accounts Committee members as well as the PAC Secretariat of the 54th Legislature in the scrutiny of statement of accounts of SOEs. The workshop was planned for five days beginning with the capacity building of SOEs Unit staffs from October 20-21, followed by the PAC members’ workshop which went from October 21-24, 2020 at the Jackie’s Guest House in Ganta, Nimba County. However, the workshop ended on Friday, Oct. 23, 2020 instead of Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020.

DAY-1: Wednesday, October 21, 2020:

The PAC members’ workshop began on Wednesday, October 21 and ended on Friday, October 23, 2020.

Giving the overview of the workshop, Hon. Edward W. Karfiah identified as a serious problem the redundancy of SOEs in complying with the remittance of amounts they were assessed for and that as a result, MACs are underfunded and consequently, their activities are not financed.

Mr. Michael M. Thomas, the Executive Director of PAC Secretariat provided a step-by-step procedure relative to the receipt of audit reports from GAC. This was followed by a question & answer period. In conclusion, the Deputy Auditor General, Mr. Wesley Nanka recommended that at the end of the retreat, a Form Committee be setup to ensure implementation of recommendations.

Making presentations at the retreat were the following integrity institutions:

  1. LACC
  2. GC
  3. GAC
  4. PPCC
  5. IAA

The presentations were centered round the fight against corruption in the perspectives of the institutions, specifically on the execution of their mandates, achievements thus far, current activities, challenges and recommendations. One of the key issues coming out of Mr. Nanka’s presentation was the issue of Financial Autonomy as enshrined in the GAC Act being infringed upon. Comments coming on the floor indicated that this problem is not unique to the GAC as other institutions like the LACC do not enjoy their Financial Autonomy stipulated in their acts. Hon. Alphonso Gaye promised to have PAC look into this matter as it is a violation of the laws governing the integrity institutions.

DAY-2: Thursdays, October 23, 2020:

  1. Presentation on the impact fight against corruption from the SOE Unit’s perspective:

Key issues discussed out of the presentation were:

  • Function overlap between the State Owned Enterprise unit and the Bureau State Enterprise;
  • The need to enhance collaboration between the SOE Unit and GC since they all conduct SOEs assessments;
  • Financial Reporting format for SOEs: Some SOEs are using IPSAS, IRIS or GAP while others don’t report at all. Of the 16 SOEs, only 30% (5 SOEs) are in compliant and are submitting adequate information;
  • The SOE Unit is understaffed: there are 39 SOEs but the Unit is only monitoring 16.
  • The need for lawmakers to enforce the PFM law was stressed.

It was reported by PAC that MoFDP is always reporting on the budget year that there are no undisbursed balances the budgetary appropriations and allotments of MACs; meaning that all approved budgets are always utilized. Going forward, MACs are to send copies of their quarterly reports to PAC.

  • Presentation from IAA’s perspectives:

Mr. Akoi in making this presentation provided clarity on the mandates of GAC and IAA, and said that they are not doing the same work.

Following the presentation of IAA, it was recommended that the LACC send copies of their Corruption Risks Assessments conducted by the E & P to the IAA since they have their Internal Auditors seated in the MACs.

Another recommendation was that before any Presidential Appointee is confirmed, the PAC should ensure that integrity institutions (preferably GAC & LACC) are contacted to verify that the appointees are not under investigation by the LACC.

The following audit reports were presented by Mr. Nanka of GAC and they were reviewed by PAC members:

Audit reports on Nimba County CDF, LPRC, NASSCORP, & NPA. 

DAY-3/4: Friday/Saturday, Oct. 23, 2020

I played spider on day 3 and could not be at this retreat for the first two presentations. When I got there in the afternoon, they were closing the retreat because they have condensed all activities for the two days on day-3. Therefore, the workshop ended on day-3.

LACC HOLDS SECTORAL MEETING IN SUPPORT OF THE NATIONAL ANTI- CORRUPTION CONFERENCE

Thursday, September 10, 2020: The Liberia Anti-Corruption (LACC) in collaboration with other integrity institutions hosted a one day sectorial meeting in support of the National Anti- Corruption conference at Corina Hotel on September 10, 2020.

Speaking at the opening of the conference, the Executive Chairperson of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), Cllr. A. Ndubuisi Nwabudike encouraged participants to be involved in the purpose of hosting the anti-corruption conference. He said the idea of the conference was to reached a perception about corruption in our country and find a new approach in the fight against it.

He further said, that the idea is not to reinvent a new will or change what is already on going but the key point is, after 176 years of existence and fighting corruption, if the system and results we are getting are not encouraging then there is a need to look at it so that the result can be better or different from what we are getting now and if the political will is there but it’s not also seen, then we need to know why.

The Chairperson also said that he hoped the discussions which included Improving the Legal Framework, Enhancing Citizens Confidence and Participation and the Impact of Political Will  on the Fight Against Corruption  (Collaboration, Financial Autonomy, Capacity Development)will be used as a  guiding process against the perception Liberians have on corruption.

Making remarks on behalf on the Inter Religious Council of Liberia, Bishop Joseph Kortu Brown recognized the work of the LACC and reaffirmed the Council’s support in the fight against corruption.  He asked everyone to take the fight seriously and resources be used for its intended purpose. Bishop Brown also encouraged the Commissions to continue the fight and hoped all integrity institutions take their respective mandate seriously.

Also speaking at the meeting, Chief Zanzan Kanwa of the Traditional Council applauded the LACC for the initiative taken to combat the fight against corruption. He said, corruption is a long time enemy and the government should not take the blame alone for this; but we all should and fight this disease together.

Other anti-graft institutions including the  Speaking on behalf of the Internal Audit Agency (IAA), and Governance Commission (GC) noted that corruption is only spoken with our lips, forgetting to know that it has strength and will of fighting back. They also pledged their commitment and willingness to join the LACC in this fight.

The conference was held under the theme; “Re-Shaping Perception on Corruption and Identifying New Approaches to Addressing Systemic Corruption in Liberia” brought together Political Parties, the Inter Religious Council of Liberia, the Traditional Council, the Liberia Marketing Association, the Press Union of Liberia, The Federation of Liberia Youth, and Liberian National Student Union.

The sectorial conference is the last in the series of consultative meetings leading up to the National Anti-Corruption Conference to open in Monrovia on September 17.

REGION TWO CONSULTATION OPENS IN BONG COUNTY

Monday, September 7, 2020: The Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) continued its regional consultation in Gbarnga, Bong County on August 31, 2020.

This second in the series of consultations brought together local government officials and civil society organizations from Nimba, Margibi, Lofa and Bong Counties.

Speaking in separate remarks at the opening ceremonies, the Superintendents of the various counties expressed the need for the LACC to conduct similar workshops to keep their feet to the fire.

They also expressed the need to decentralize the LACC so that it impact could be felt around the country.

They thanked the LACC for the invitation to the consultation and hoped that the consultation will promote honesty among the participants for discussions.

The Superintendents pledged their full support of their respective counties in the fight against corruption.

For his part LACC’s Executive Chairperson, Cllr. Ndubuisi Nwabudike noted the LACC was holding the consultation in collaboration with other anti-graft institutions.

He noted that the Regional Consultations will lead into the National Anti-Corruption Conference to design new strategies to fight corruption.

Topics discussed at the consultation included a cross section of themes related to the fight against corruption.

At the end of the consultation, participants called for

specialized  courts should be set up for corruption cases only in addition to having both the illicit enrichment law and the whistle blower should be passed act should be passed into law.

They also recommended more budgetary support to the LACC 

Local government officials, elders from central Liberia, Youth groups, Civil Society and Media who gathered for the consultative meeting also called for the LACC  to given prosecutorial power through legislative enactment.

The participants also recommended that the Asset declaration should be more effective on a quarterly monitoring basis and some legal penalty should be meted out for those officials who don’t declare in the specified time given.

The next regional meeting is expected to take place in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County involving Bomi, Cape Mount, Gbarpolu, Rivercess and Grand Bassa Counties on September 3.

LACC ENDS REGIONAL CONSULTATION IN GRAND BASSA COUNTY

Tuesday, September 8, 2020: Delegates at the National Anti-corruption regional consultative meeting held in three regions of the country have made a common position to the government for increased political will, improvement in the Justice system of the country and the establishment of specialized court to deal with corruption cases.

The two hundred and fifteen (215) delegates from all the counties meeting in the three regions also acknowledged the drastic decline in public trust for national government over the years due bas governance since the formation of the country

They called for an end to patronage system and bribery among law enforcement agencies especially the Police.

Delegates also unanimously recommended that the government should tackle the country’s young generation by emphasizing anti-corruption education in public schools across the country

The regional consultations which was held under the theme; “Re-Shaping Perception on Corruption and Identifying New Approaches to Addressing Systemic Corruption in Liberia”brought together local government officials and civil society organizations, youth leaders, and  local elders  from all of the fifteen(15) Counties.   

The first regional consultative meeting was held on August 26 in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County and brought in the southeastern counties; the second one was held on August 31 in Gbarnga, Bong County for the counties in central Liberia the third and final meeting was held in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County on September 3.

Recommendations from the 15 counties will be presented at the National Anti-Corruption Conference which is slated to be held on September 16 & 17 in Monrovia

Prior to the National Conference, the LACC along with other anti-graft institutions will hold a one-day Sectorial Meeting in Monrovia under the same theme. The sectorial meeting will bring together Political Parties, Youth Groups, the Media, and the Inter-Religious Council among others.

The meeting will offer the participants the opportunity to participate, engage discuss and advance recommendations to strengthen the Government’s fight against corruption.

LACC HOSTS REGIONAL CONSULTATIVE MEETING ON ANTI-CORRUPTION CONFERENCE

Wednesday, September 2, 2020: The Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) formerly opened the first of three regional consultations in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County on August 26, 2020 

The regional consultation which was held under the theme; “Re-Shaping Perception on Corruption and Identifying New Approaches to Addressing Systemic Corruption in Liberia” brought together local government officials and civil society organizations from Sinoe, Rivergee, Maryland, Grand Kru and Grand Gedeh Counties.   

Speaking at the opening ceremonies, Grand Gedeh County Superintendent Kai Farley called on participants to discuss the fundamental issues of corruption that he said has tied the country down since the formation of LIBERIA and has also affected all sectors of society including award of contracts, trucking voters during elections and other difficult areas in the fight against corruption.

He said corruption has also deeply affected value system of the country and its people and pledge the full support of Grand Gedeh in the fight against corruption.

Making remarks on behalf of the Superintendent’s Council of Liberia, River Gee County Superintendent Philip Nyenuh said corruption has been an impediment to the development of the country for so long

While pledging the full support of the Superintendent Council, Mr. Nyenuh praised the work of all stakeholders in ensuring that local government has a voice in the fight against corruption in the society.

For his part LACC’s Head of Delegation to the Consultation James Kingsley who is the Program Manager for Education said the Commission was seeking to know the real issues in the fight against corruption and also stated that since the formation of the state, the country has been confronted with the issue of corruption.

He said a collective approach to reducing incidents of corruption is important.

Topics discussed at the consultation included a cross section of themes related to the fight against corruption.

At the end of the consultation, participants called for the development of national whistle-blower system, and deliberate improvement of the country’s justice system as cardinal means to dealing with the fight against corruption.

Local government officials, elders from south-east Liberia, Youth groups, Civil Society and Media who gathered for the consultative meeting also called for the development of a special curriculum on corruption to be included in the teaching curriculum for Liberia secondary schools.

ATTENTION

May 11, 2020

It has come to the attention of the LACC that some person or persons has illegally used the name and picture of the Executive Chairperson of the LACC, Cllr. Ndubuisi Nwabudike, to open a Facebook account within the Henry Costa page, and has used the account to propagate hate messages and anti-government misinformation. This is to inform the public that any information posted under an account under his name is fake, false and misleading. The Executive Chairperson of the LACC does not operate any active personal Facebook account and does not post information on any Facebook account. Those behind this illegal act are obviously intended to use this account for purposes that are most likely to harm the Chairperson, his friends, family and employer. Meanwhile, the LACC has notified FACEBOOK, and the Minister of Justice/Attorney General of Liberia about this illegal activity.

Signed: Edwin J. Clarke, Jr.

PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER

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