The United States Embassy near Monrovia clarifies that in July of this year, it did send the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Monrovia a Diplomatic Note, as part of its routine diplomatic correspondence, requesting fully completed sample specimens of travel, identity, and other official documents issued by the Government of Liberia.
In a press release issued Wednesday, 14 September the Embassy explained that the Department of State makes this request to all countries in the world as part of the U.S. Government’s continuing effort to prevent fraudulent use of international travel, identity, and civil documents, adding that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs correctly passed this request to the various government entities responsible for producing those documents, including the National Elections Commission (NEC).
“The letters published in the press from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are neither forged nor nefarious, but rather routine diplomatic correspondence that had no connection to the NEC’s important work in procuring new biometric voting systems”, the Embassy clarifies.
Earlier on Monday, 12 September the U.S. Embassy issued a press release in which it said at no point in time did it send the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Liberia an official Diplomatic Note, or any other communication, with the request to acquire a sample or specimen of the 2023 national voter registration card.
“We understand that no decision has yet been made on awarding a contract for the biometric system, but that the process is ongoing and, according to the press, the Public Procurement and Concessions Commission (PPCC) is examining potential contracts. We urge the PPCC to fulfill its mandate of ensuring integrity and transparency in the procurement process so that the Liberian public gets full value for money in the use of public funds”, the previous release read.
This followed local media reports here about a Diplomatic Note from the U.S. Embassy to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, allegedly requesting specimen of the 2023 national voter registration card from the National Elections Commission.
Meanwhile, the Embassy says the United States and Liberia share democratic values, including the commitment to free, fair, and transparent elections.
“Our Mission works closely with partners in the government and in civil society focusing on next year’s important national elections and we emphasize the necessity of non-violence and transparency in democratic societies. We remind our international and local partners of the importance of data security, especially regarding sensitive Liberian voter data”, the previous press statement said. Press Release