Liberia's domestic revenue generation has increased by 17 percent as a result of an effective implementation of the Revenue Enhancement project that was recently initiated by the Ministry of Finance. Accordingly, the Ministry says it has collected $77m more than in the previous 2012/13 fiscal budget.
The Ministry of Finance says its revenue enhancement project is a legitimate operation that is currently closing loopholes in the system.
According to a press release, the Ministry says as a result of the enhancement operations, the Government of Liberia(GOL) was able to disburse funds for the construction of water kiosks in the West Point area by the Water and Sewer Corporation to address safe drinking water problem in that community. Government has also budgeted to construct 10 public latrines in populated communities in Monrovia and its environs to address sanitation and hygiene conditions thereby preventing common diseases that affect residents in those areas.
The Ministry of Finance is reiterating that the Revenue Enhancement project is authentic and that the operation is consistent with the Public Financial Management Law of Liberia. The Treasury House notes that a strong check and balance mechanism is already in place to make sure all expenditures made from a dedicated operational fund of $99k which was set aside to fund the project are properly accounted under the PFM law.
The Ministry says as misguided elements within the employ of the Ministry of Finance were attempting to defraud Government of much needed revenues especially in our rural ports and collectorates, the Ministry moved quickly to intensify its efforts to seal revenue leakages and strengthen revenue collections. False receipts and duplication of other revenue instruments by rouge agents were causing the government hundreds of thousands of dollars on a daily basis.
Accordingly, the Ministry of Finance proactively launched the Special revenue enhancement operation to ensure that regular and periodic spot checks and audits are conducted on employees and businesses in rural areas. This vigorous and aggressive spot check campaign is ensuring that loopholes are closed and employees are monitored in an attempt to enhance revenue collections.
These operations also came against established evidence that revenue fraud and loopholes were undermining the Ministry's ability to successfully collect revenues. This enhancement operation is also focusing on revenue monitoring and awareness across Liberia. Therefore, to support this project, the Ministry decided to set up a dedicated fund to finance the frequent and spontaneous activities including dispatching auditors on the fields, which are required under this project.
The Ministry of Finance strongly believes that fiscal discipline, transparency and accountability can play a critical role in helping to contain corruption and raise the needed resources to finance Liberia's unwavering development projects.
The MoF Authorities regard transparency in government operations as an important precondition for macroeconomic stability, good governance and overall fiscal rectitude.
Meanwhile, the Ministry expresses disappointment in some media houses which, instead of seeking the facts surrounding the project, are using the Revenue Enhancement project to scandalize the process. As far as the Ministry is concerned , the Revenue Enhancement is a legitimate project that needs to be funded. Revenue enhancement is not only a project, but historically has been a line in the national budget to help expand the domestic revenue base.