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Liberia’s integrity institutions need more resources-U.S.Amb. McCarty

By Bridgett Milton

United States Ambassador to Liberia Michael A. McCarthy says Liberia’s integrity institutions need more resources to fulfill their legal mandates. 

During a press roundtable event Tuesday, 6 December 2022 following a tour of integrity institutions here, the U.S. Envoy said he saw that many of these essential organizations have much smaller budgets than they enjoyed years ago.

“I found that for the most part, the integrity institutions are staffed by hard-working, dedicated people motivated to make Liberia a better country,” said Amb. McCarthy. 

“Unfortunately, I also saw that many of these essential organizations have much smaller budgets than they enjoyed years ago, and even less purchasing power, thanks to inflation,” Amb. McCarthy stated.

McCarthy warned that Liberia will not function without integrity institutions that enjoy more political will.

He explained that after years of war, Liberians came together in 2003 to rebuild the nation’s democratic institutions as well as safeguards for protecting its democratic governance.

Chiefs among these safeguards, he said, were Liberia’s integrity institutions which were built, funded, and staffed with some of Liberia’s best and brightest minds.

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He recalled that these institutions were created by law and designed to be shielded from political interference in combination with a robust civil society environment and a vibrant free media.

He noted that they give Liberia unique strengths in maintaining its democracy. 

To make matters worse, the U.S. Envoy said most of them never receive the full amount appropriated to them by the legislature and they are starved of funds and unsure whether, or when, they will receive their next allotment.

He indicated that they are nowhere near as effective as they should be, and in some cases, funding shortfalls are more than fifty percent of the amount granted to them in the national budget. 

McCarthy added that if the goal is for more efficient, effective governance and genuine oversight of service delivery, he

strongly encourages the Legislature to increase the budgets of these institutions.

He also urged the Legislature to exercise its rightful fiscal oversight authority by ensuring that the amount appropriated to these organizations is the amount they receive. 

“In Liberia’s constitution, only the Legislature has the power of the purse – the Executive Branch (through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning) is responsible for distributing funds to government entities through allotment,” he said.

The U.S. Envoy noted that the [Executive] has no authority to alter the amount determined by the Legislature in the annual budget.

He said Liberia’s integrity institutions cannot succeed without robust political backing for their work.

” Integrity institutions’ leaders told me U.S. Global Magnitsky sanctions have given them more breathing room to fulfill their mandates,” he said.

However, Amb. McCarthy said they need more than just breathing room, they need the full backing of Liberia’s political leaders.

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The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).

One Comment

  1. Is Mcarthy an American Governor-General telling Liberians how to run their country?

    This shameless violation that dictates lives of Liberians and their governance is a recipe for another chaos!

    Mcarthy must leave Liberia immediately!

    Mcarthy is an offensive slave-driver of black people in Africa!

    Stop your aid and get out if it is a weaponization for control!

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