The Fiscal Decentralization Unit of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) has conducted a one-day technical session on fiscal decentralization in Liberia.
The exercise is aimed at developing a workable fiscal decentralization, financial management and local governance teaching module that would enhance understanding of fiscal thoughts in local governance process.
The one day session, held at a local entertainment center in Monrovia, brought together 35 participants, including officials of government line ministries and agencies, university professors, public administrators, and public financial experts, among other stakeholders.
The primary objectives of the technical session are to develop a module that will be teachable and knowledgeable for the upliftment of Liberia. The fiscal decentralization unit is responsible to support the Inter-governmental Fiscal Framework aimed at providing a comprehensive framework for the long-term development of inter-governmental fiscal arrangements, including the assignment of expenditure responsibilities, revenue responsibilities, inter-governmental transfers, coordinating the county development funds and the social development funds, respectively as well as the county treasury framework, including institutional arrangements that entail participatory governance.
Speaking Wednesday, 12 August at the start of the session, Deputy Finance Minister for Budget and Development Planning, Tanneh G. Brunson, emphasized that the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning is the government’s arm responsible for the fiscal affairs of the country, saying, “It means we have to manage the fiscal functions of the country.”
She pointed out that the Government of Liberia is putting measures in place to promote fiscal decentralization reforms across the country, while the MFDP is planning to launch the county treasure framework.
Madam Brunson, who deputized for deputy finance minister for fiscal affairs, Dr. James F. Kollie, explained that the management of county and social development funds is one of the measures of fiscal decentralization initiatives the government has institutionalized.
“Fiscal decentralization has been held in the back, but the world has changed, and the case for decentralization has become more irresistible because too many times we attempt to institutionalize policies and programs into our national agenda without factoring that others need to understand the nature of these policies”, she stressed.
She said in every reform process, the nature of the reform should be understood by the people, which she noted, is the only way to gradually improve the status of the country. Madam Brunson told the participants that fiscal decentralization should be viewed as a comprehensive system, adding:“It is within this context that we have to develop a fiscal decentralization training module that will facilitate the implementation, and promote the fiscal decentralization reform process.”
President Ellen Sirleaf Johnson launched the local governance and decentralization policy in January 2012 as a way of decentralizing power. By Lewis S. Teh – Editing by Jonathan Browne