The U.S. Government has sponsored training for 60 internal auditors, financial managers, and accountants from across the Government of Liberia at the Liberia Institute of Public Administration (LIPA).
According to a U.S embassy press release, the course focused on how Liberian government agencies and ministries can implement Liberia's Public Financial Management (PFM) Act. The training introduced participants to myriad of components of the PFM Act, presenting the objectives of the law, describing key requirements, and educating participants on reforms that may be necessary to ensure compliance.
LIPA conducted the training in partnership with the Ministry of Finance. Training Coordinator Danny Dixon stressed the importance of the collaboration between the Ministry of Finance and LIPA. "The Ministry of Finance sits at the apex of PFM and LIPA is the co-regulatory authority of training for all public officials," he explained. "It's very important that the Ministry always collaborate with LIPA to ensure that public servants have the skills necessary to enhance efficiency and effectiveness in public affairs."
Saye K.M. Dolo, a Senior Internal Auditor at the National Investment Commission, was among the participants who took the course. For Mr. Dolo, the most relevant part of the training was that "it gave insight into what the law provides as to what is allowed and what is not allowed." When he returns to his job, Mr. Dolo expects to apply this knowledge to guide policymakers and to help bolster the credibility of financial procedures throughout the Liberian Government.
The training sessions, held on December 6, 7, and 10, are a critical component of the Liberian Government's strategy for implementing the PFM Act, which governs financial matters ranging from budget preparation and execution to reporting, cash management and audit procedures. Since the Act was passed in 2009, the Liberian Government has been working with all the ministries and agencies to comply with the provisions of the Act. Educating finance staff on the PFM Act is an important first step toward achieving improvements in Liberia's financial management.
LIPA is planning a more intensive training course early next year that will focus on the foundation of the PFM Act.
The U.S. Agency for International Development Governance and Economic Management Support (USAID-GEMS) project funded the training. USAID-GEMS is a five-year technical assistance project to support the Government of Liberia's own initiatives to improve performance through human and institutional capacity building within government ministries, agencies, and commissions.