LACC Clarifies Asset Declaration Issue

The Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) has provided clarity on allegation by Montserrado County Senator Abraham Darius Dillon that Commissioners at the LACC have not declared their assets.

In a release issued yesterday in Monrovia, LACC noted that on December 5, 2023, the Senate in its 55th day sitting carried on its agenda an item titled, “Asset Declaration of the Commissioner of the LACC” which was raised by Senator Abraham Darius Dillon.

According to the LACC release, during his deliberations, Senator Dillon informed the Senate that the current Commissioners of the LACC, including the Executive Chairperson have not demonstrated that they have declared their assets and that they have not published their assets declaration in keeping with the July 22, 2022, Act creating the New LACC. Additionally, Senator Dillon stated that the Commissioners during confirmation only presented a slip to the Senate Committee that was shared with the Senators.

But reacting to the Montserrado County Senator’s assertion, the Board of Commissioners of the LACC says it notes with grave concern such statement emanating from Senator Dillon as it is misleading to the public and only intended to distract the LACC from current efforts that are being made in the fight against corruption in Liberia.

In view of the above, the Board of Commissioners of the LACC issues this statement to the public in response to Senator Dillon’s assertions.”

That there is nowhere in the July 22, 2022, act creating the New LACC that requires the Commissioners during confirmation to declare their assets and thereafter publish said declaration. This is simply because our Code of Conduct of 2014 provides for Asset Declaration only by Public Officials and Employees of Government. During Confirmation, the now Commissioners were not Public Officials, neither were they Employees of Government, therefore there is no law that required them to declare their Asset and/or publish said declaration, not the LACC Act of 2022 and not the code of conduct of 2014,” the LACC release noted.

The release furthered, “Further and as was requested by few of the Senators during confirmation in keeping with Section 6.12 of the New LACC Act, “Confirmation: A person nominated to serve on the Commission who is an active member of any political party shall publicly resign before confirmation by the Liberian Senate, and appointment by the President of Liberia. He/she shall, during confirmation process, declare his/her assets and any property interest, which declaration, unless found to be questionable, shall not prejudice his/her nomination.”

The Commissioners of the LACC wishes to inform the public that at no time any of its Commissioners has been an active member of any political party for which Section 6.12 could be applicable,” the release added.

LACC noted in its release that all the above, the Commissioners during their confirmation hearing in July 2023, when the issue was raised by Senator Dillon and the hearing was halted, in the spirit of fairness, and in an effort to demonstrate integrity and transparency, proceeded to the LACC and declared their respective Assets with Madam Partricia Barnaby, the Asset Declaration and Verification Officer of the LACC.

The Commissioners obtained their respective official receipt from the LACC and filed said receipt with the office of the Secretary of Senator Henrique Togba, the Chairman of the Committee on Autonomous Agencies and Commission which later gave grounds for the confirmation hearing to continue, and the Commissioners were eventually confirmed,” LACC pointed out.

The release noted that the Commissioners of the LACC  wish to inform the public that as a matter of fact, the pre-selection of candidates before nomination and subsequent confirmation by the Liberia Senate which comprises of representatives of the General Auditing Commission, Governance Commission, Liberia National Bar Association, Press Union of Liberia, Liberia Business Association, Anti-Corruption Advocate of Civil Society Organization, Liberia Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the International Donor Community took into consideration all of the issues of integrity, competence, compliance and accountability.

The release said the Commissioners of the LACC are cognizant of the fact that there are individuals who do not want them to be at the LACC and therefore will go at any length to stop the Commissioners from performing the duties for which they were legally appointed to do, simply because corruption fights back.

Our nation has just concluded a peaceful election and there is a transition process ongoing. We must use this time to preach peace, reconciliation, and development. We therefore call on all Liberians to support the new board of Commissioner as we execute our mandate in this fight against corruption,” the release added.

We look forward to working with the Senate to provide proof of our asset declarations so as to lay this matter to rest once and for all. Meanwhile, the deadline for our Asset Declaration still stands at December 12, 2023 and we encourage every Public Official and Employee of Government to proceed to the LACC and declare.

LACC noted that for the sake of the public, “We will provide you proof of our asset declaration, and we will also show you excerpt video from our confirmation hearing where Senator Henrique Togba, Chairman of the Committee on Autonomous Agencies and Commission confirmed to the Senate that indeed the Commissioners declared their Assets. Afterwards, we will go back to our offices to continue the very important task we have on hand here at the LACC.

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