Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC)
ABOUT THE LACC
The Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission is the country’s biggest and leading anti-graft institution. The establishment of the LACC was part of Government of Liberia (GOL) continuing efforts to formulate and adopt new regulations and measures aimed at strengthening laws and policies that adequately address the peculiar nature of corruption in society.
These efforts have culminated in the Government declaring corruption as “public enemy number one”. The setting up of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) was a big and motivating step in battling this epidemic which has become a way of life. Truly and evidenced to its commitment, Government adopted a National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NAS) led by the Governance Commission (GC) in partnership with civil society. Under the National Anti-corruption Strategy, it was mandated that a specialize Commission be established that will be squarely responsibility to deal with corruption issues in the country. A team was now set up to start the process leading the formation of the Liberia Anti-corruption Commission through the drafting of the legal framework document in the country.
The establishment of the LACC was also accompanied by renewed efforts to strengthen other integrity institutions in the country including the General Auditing Commission (GAC), Public Procurement and Concessions Commission (PPCC), the Liberia Extractive Industry and Transparency Initiative (LEITI), the Internal Audit Agency (IAA), the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), the Law Reform Commission (LRC) and the Independent Information Commission (IIC). These interventions in part fulfil Liberia’s obligations under international treaties and conventions, including the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), to which Liberia is a signatory and state-party.
Meanwhile, from the time the LACC was established some nine years ago, it has made significant progress in the fulfilment of its core mandates – education and prevention, and investigation and prosecution. The Commission has been able to adopt several measures and institutionalized policies intended to strengthen the fight against this menace. During the period, the LACC has hired and continues to hire relevant professional staff, drafted and ratified operational instruments; and investigated and prosecuted several cases of corruption. The progress made was achieved under difficult situation, including inadequate financial and material resources.
The area of prosecution seems to generate public interest as compared to education and prevention. This is largely due to the culture of impunity which long permeated our society. But today, serious efforts have been ignited in prosecuting persons accused of corruption despite the surmountable financial challenges in recruiting additional investigators, lawyers and acquisition of logistics to facilitate the work of the Commission.
Additionally, the LACC has called for the passage of several new legislations to empower the Commission to perform its responsibility including the Direct Prosecutorial powers, removal of statute of limitation on corruption cases and the establishment of specialized court on corruption