The Informer (Monrovia)

15 January 2013

Liberia: LMC Initiates Budget Monitoring Program

Liberia Media Center (LMC) has announced a new open budget initiative designed to monitor and track the performance of the budget, service delivery, and project implementation within the framework of the current fiscal budget cycle and the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).

Supported by TrustAfrica, the web-based tracking system looks exclusively at projects under the budget classification "Public Sector Investment Projects". These projects are expected to be implemented at district and county levels.

According to the LMC's Executive Director, Lawrence Randall, the new platform will be roll out this month and builds on previous effort and seeks to promote budget transparency, citizens' engagement in the tracking of expenditure on development projects around the country.

A similar initiative was piloted in 2012 to monitor and report on President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's 150 Days Action Plan. As part of that initiative, LMC developed an online tracking portal through which progress was assessed. A standard publication detailing of the results of the process was published twice.

The current project "Budget Performance Tracking: Public Sector Investment Project Monitoring" seeks to improve citizens access to budget, expenditure and service delivery information.

In a separate project under the broader open budget initiative, LMC will be piloting an innovative automated response SMS platform containing budget and expenditure information at the district, county and national level. The project is in cooperation with Liberia's Ministry of Finance and supported by OSIWA.

The "Budget Performance Tracking" platform is inspired by the need to increase state accountability and is part of LMC's strategic engagement with the global "Open Government Initiative".

Anchoring these initiatives, will be a comprehensive media and civil society engagement platform to provide visibility on issues emerging from the tracking. Two standard publications would be produced as an outcome of this initiative.

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