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207 Liberian officials declare assets

Asset declaration is seen in Liberia as a crucial tool in ensuring public officials uphold the principles of transparency and accountability in their roles. 

By Kruah Thompson 

In an attempt to foster transparency and accountability within Liberia’s governance framework, 207 public officials, spanning both the Legislative and Executive branches, have declared their assets. 

Cllr made this disclosure. Alexandra Zoe, the Executive Chairperson of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), during a regular press briefing held at the Ministry of Information on Thursday, June 6, 2024, in Monrovia.

Speaking on the occasion, the LACC Chairperson emphasized the importance of asset declaration, citing it as a crucial tool in ensuring public officials uphold the principles of transparency and accountability. 

Without naming the 207 public officials who declared their assets, she clarified that under LACC laws, there is no obligation to publish these declarations.

However, she commended those public officials who have voluntarily chosen to make their asset declarations public, viewing it as a commendable display of transparency.

Regarding access to the information, the LACC Chairperson outlined the process for obtaining it, stating that interested parties, including the press, must acquire forms from the Supreme Court to request the release of asset declaration information.

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“If the press wants access to the information, they should get a form from the Supreme Court ordering us to release the information,” she noted. 

Asset declaration in Liberia is a key mechanism to promote transparency, accountability, and integrity among public officials.

The practice seems to gain prominence as part of broader efforts to combat corruption and ensure good governance within the country.

The implementation of various legal frameworks and institutional mechanisms in Liberia is the root of asset declaration.

One of the primary instruments guiding asset declaration is the National Code of Conduct, which outlines the ethical standards and responsibilities expected of public officials.

Under the National Code of Conduct, both elected and appointed public officials are required to declare their assets before assuming office or within 30 days after appointment. 

This requirement stipulated in Section 10.2 of the Code of Conduct applies to individuals serving in various capacities across the government, including the Legislative and Executive branches.

Asset declaration serves multiple purposes within the Liberian context. Firstly, it helps to prevent conflict of interest by disclosing any financial interests or holdings that may influence the decision-making process of public officials.

Additionally, it serves as a deterrence against corruption, as officials are held accountable for their declared assets and can face sanctions for non-compliance.

The LACC executive Chairperson noted that if these regulations are not complied with, the Code of Conduct gives the LACC the right to recommend sanctions to the President or any relevant authorities that play a pivotal role in enforcing these measures.

While asset declaration is mandated by law, its enforcement and effectiveness have faced challenges over the years.

Issues such as limited financial resources, inadequate oversight mechanisms, and lack of public awareness have posed obstacles to implementing asset declaration requirements in Liberia.ReplyReply allForward

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