23 April 2013

Liberia: No Accountability of U.S.$2.02 Billion Spent By Ellen's Govt

The Liberian Institute of Public Integrity (LIPI), a Liberian-owned policy advocacy Think Thank, claims the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf administration spent US$2.02 Billion, with no accountability of funds. According to the LIPI, for the past 7 years, from January 16, 2006 to December 31, 2012, the current administration collected US$2.02 billion and allegedly spent the funds with no accountability.

The LIPI says its current budget policy report focuses only on funds collected through the Ministry of Finance, and reflected in the national budget; it does not include funding spent by donors on various projects. "LIPI believes that one of the fundamental means to improving accountability and transparency is for the Liberian people to have a clearer understanding of how much is collected in revenues by the Government, and how the money is expended. Therefore, accurate financial reporting on the performance of the Government is paramount, as it assists policy makers to determine how to allocate limited resources more effectively. Also because such reporting would enable citizens to hold public officials accountable for their failure to utilize public funds in a manner that creates economic value, and by extension, improve the wellbeing of Liberians," says the Liberian-owned policy advocacy Think Thank. LIPI further believes through its analysis, Liberians can begin to ask, "where did all these money go," and policymakers can start thinking in broader strategic terms.

Meanwhile, the government is yet to respond to the claim by the LIPI and its analysis of the Liberia National Budget.

Members of LIPI are: J. Aloysius Toe, former Executive Director of the Foundation for Human Rights and Democracy (FOHRD), Dan Saryee, former Executive Director of Liberia Democratic Institute (LDI), Cllr. Jerome Verdier, Chairman of the former Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Liberia and John S. Morlu, II is former Auditor General of Liberia.

Other members are: Massa Washington, Commissioner of the former TRC of Liberia, Ernest S. Maximore, a Liberian Journalist and Lawyer, Charles Sunwungbe, American-trained Lawyer, Sie Patrick Tuon, a Community Leader and Activist of Long-standing, Julius Suku, a Social Activist, and J. Kerkula Foaday, former Student Leader of the University of Liberia

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