25 January 2013

Liberia: Transparency & Accountability Promised

Yearning for greater say in matters relating to their welfare, Liberian youths Wednesday urged their leaders to practice transparency and accountability. The head of the Federation of Liberian Youths, Mohammed Nasser, told journalists at a

In order to run an open budget system that would adequately inform the citizenry about public expenditures, the government of Liberia Wednesday launched what it calls Open Budget Initiative (OBI).

Finance Minister Amara Konneh said the launch of the OBI is in fulfillment of the GOL promise to run an open government that would be based on transparency and accountability.

"Madam President, excellences ladies and gentlemen. Today marks the beginning of a promise this government made to the Liberian people about running an open and transparent. We now have the Open Budget Initiative in place with an electronic billboard that will inform our people regularly as to we how spend their monies" Mr. Konneh said.

"There's no problem with us telling our people how much money we have collected and how do we intend to spend their money because these are the taxpayers," he added.

With the putting in place of the OBI, Mr. Konneh announced that Liberians across the 15 political subdivisions can now access information from the budget through the electronic billboard to know how much money has been allocated for each county and how government would spend it.

Minister Konneh explained that the new initiative is expected to increase citizens' participation in the governance system of the country and also avoid rush and over-crowdedness at the Finance Ministry.

Information regarding specific implementation of projects earmarked in the budget is also expected to be revealed through the electronic billboard for the public to view.

This, Minister Konneh said, will make taxpayers to monitor government's activities and also hold the government accountable on its promises.

"Though a lot of people initially raised qualms about this process, but, with the putting in of this system, I think it will help all of us and make this place. It will make all of us to be committed and will increase sincerity," he said.

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