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GeneralLiberia news

Fiscal Transparency Advisory Group reconvenes

--As GOL commits its support

The Fiscal Transparency Advisory Group is charged to steer the crafting of national fiscal openness and ensure standardized and regular monitoring of fiscal transparency, among others.

By Ethel A. Tweh

The Government of Liberia, through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, has committed to continuous support of the Fiscal Transparency Advisory Group (FTAG) for the betterment of Liberia and its people.

Deputy Finance Minister for Budget and Development, Madam Tenneh Brunson, told a gathering at a local hotel in Monrovia that Liberia has been making steady progress in demonstrating its commitment to fiscal transparency and public participation since 2006.

According to her, Liberia has been making almost all of its financial reports and documentation available and providing formal opportunities for public engagements in financial management through the Open Budget Initiative.

Since the FTAG’s ascendancy to the IBA, Madam Brunson said Liberia has participated in seven rounds of the Open Budget Survey, which is periodically conducted every two years.

She explained, “We have also subjected ourselves to other international assessments, including the U.S. State Department Fiscal Transparency Report, the Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and the OGPs Independent Review Mechanism.”

According to her, the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), and the Internal Audit Agency (IAA) are partnering with them to achieve a singular goal: fiscal transparency.

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She added that Liberia is partnering with other civil society organizations and expressed hopes that they will remain fully engaged in putting Liberia back on the right path to renewal.

Madam Brunson, however, applauded the interventions of their partners, the USAID—Local Empowerment for Accountability and Decentralization, and the technical support that the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency (GIFT) continues to provide.

Madam Carolyn Zoduah, the Assistant Director at the MFDP, said the advisory group’s objective is to provide the Ministry of Finance with feedback and recommendations to improve fiscal transparency and public participation.

She said this would be done through the selection, design, and implementation of fiscal transparency and public participation mechanisms in budget processes and the monitoring and evaluation of key fiscal openness indicators at the national level.

The FTAG is responsible for steering the crafting of national fiscal openness and action strategies and standardizing and regularly monitoring fiscal transparency and public participation initiatives and key indicators.

The responsibilities include steering Open Budget Surveys, Public Expenditure, Financial Accountability Assessment, and Fiscal Transparency Review.

The FTAG ensures that strategies and actions align with international frameworks and standards and coordinates actions between and among relevant government units, public and oversight institutions, civil society, and other external partners to successfully implement fiscal openness action plans and strategies.

Mr. George Aki, Chief of Party, USAID-Local Empowerment for Accountability and Decentralization, said that the government often faces significant challenges related to weak institutions and socio-economic disparities.

Mr. Aki detailed that embracing fiscal transparency and public participation can strengthen governance structures and institutions, fostering trust between citizens and government.

He said fiscal transparency and public participation can enhance economic stability and attract foreign investment by demonstrating a commitment to accountable fiscal management.

He spoke of empowering citizens, particularly marginalized groups, by giving them a voice in shaping policies that affect their lives.

He noted that it can drive sustainable development by allocating public resources efficiently and equitably.

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