28 April 2014

Liberia: Finance Ministry Drives Fiscal Decentralization Plan

The Ministry of Finance is presently engaged in awareness efforts aimed at driving and decentralizing the concept of fiscal management.

An official of the Ministry, Deputy Minister of Finance for Administration Jordan Sulonteh, said a decentralization plan has been prepared, the basis for which the team has been engaging both stakeholders and development partners.

"While it is true that the government has over the last two years worked tirelessly in establishing the necessary policy frameworks for the eventual transition to the formation of a devolved structure, a decentralization action plan has been prepared," he said during a roundtable discussion held at a local hotel last Friday. The Deputy Minister said it was in the purview of the ministry to drive the fiscal decentralization aspect, adding "The fiscal decentralization is envisaged in the public finance management reform strategy and action plan which is the framework guiding our priority public financial management reforms." According to the minister, the program has three main phases including the preparatory phase which seeks to address building the capacity of counties towards managing their own finances. Under a county treasuries implementation framework, Minister Sulonteh told the gathering that the ministry is establishing treasury offices to provide basic financial services in the counties.

"We will begin with piloting treasury services in Margibi, Grand Cape Mount, Bong and Grand Bassa Counties beginning the 1st of July 2014 and we will plan to cover all of the 15 counties by 2015. We will train and deploy qualified staff to carry out these services alongside county staff in order to build local capacity for sound financial management," Deputy Minister Sulonteh said.

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