A robust plan initiated by the government to ensure effectiveness in fiscal transparency has brought some achievements following strides made over the years.
The Government of Liberia is committed to fiscal transparency, making available all of its financial reports and documentation in the public domains – public discourses, print and electronic media outlets.
With regard to the international budget partnership transparency index, Liberia has improved in the index scoresheet in budget transparency from 38 percent in 2019 to 45 percent in 2021.
Liberia subscribed to the principles of open governance and became member of the International Open Government Partnership (OGP) in 2012, International Budget Partnership (IBP) and most recently in 2019 applied for full stewardship to the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency (GIFT) of which is expected that in August of this year (2022), Liberia will be officially admitted into the GIFT Stewardship Network in Bogota, Islamic Republic of Colombia
It can be recalled that since its ascendancy to the IBP, the country has participated in seven (7) rounds of Open Budget Surveys (OBS), which is periodically conducted every two years by the International Budget Partnership (IBP), a subsidiary of the World Bank Group.
Liberia’s current OBI stands at 45% as of 2021 OBS Report, while under the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Agreement, the country is required to produce annually and make publicly available, in a timely manner.
Also, about 10,000 copies of the Citizen’s Guide to the National Budget (summary of the national budget) will be produced, while government is expected to hold 15 town halls, conduct 15 live-radio phone-in talk shows aimed at discussing the national budget and related budget documentation, as well as respond to questions from the public on its fiscal reports, including the national budget.
As per the OGP, there will be a publication in at least five (5) widely read local dailies and on government websites of its fiscal reports and key information regarding the preparation, adoption/approval, execution, and reporting of national budget, including making available to the public free of cost, in an interactive, user-friendly and machine-readable format eight (8) types of budget documents in a timely manner as set by law.
Additionally, in an effort to improve and increase fiscal transparency, the Government has devised a plan to improve its index score of the three dimensions.
Beginning with the preparation of the FY2023 National Budget, a Fiscal Transparency Advisory Group will be inaugurated, consisting of both Government and Civil Society Organizations and implementation of town hall consultations to solicit citizens’ inputs for determining budget priorities for the FY2023 National Budget.
In addition, the Government will complete, commission and launch the go-live of several digital platforms, including the Citizen’s Budget Portal, Citizen’s Feedback Mechanism, etc. which will provide opportunities and more access to its fiscal data.