LACC Poised To Penalize Defiant Outgoing Officials

Outgoing officials of the current CDC government have until tomorrow Tuesday December 12, 2023 to declare their assets and those failing to do so will be penalized in line with the law, the Executive Chairperson of the New Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), Cllr. Alexandra Zoe has said.

Incumbent President George Weah and his CDC government are expected to hand over power to former Vice President Joseph Boakai and his Unity Party in late January next year, after being defeated in the November 14, 2023 presidential runoff election.

Recently, the LACC announced that it will take disciplinary action against any officials of the outgoing administration who failed to declare their exit assets in keeping with the National Code of Conduct Act and the LACC law.

Cllr. Zoe told a news conference at the Information Ministry in Monrovia recently, that the LACC is ready to investigate and prosecute corrupt individuals and institutions involved in graft within the mandate and power given to them.

Section 5.1 of the LACC Act says the Commission shall have the broad mandate and functions to implement appropriate measures and undertake programs geared toward investigating, prosecuting, and preventing acts of corruption, including educating the public about ills of corruption and the benefits of its eradication.

The LACC Executive Chairperson noted that the institution will execute its mandate and power free from interference as an independent body. ‘’We want to assure the new government that we are ready to work with you, just fund the institution because most of the anti-graft institutions are underfunded to enhance our work,” Cllr. Zoe noted.

According to the LACC boss, the exercise to compel outgoing officials to declare their assets is not to witch hunt the government or individuals. But she said it is intended to do the right things and to remind them about the law noting that the December 12, 2023 deadline stands. ‘’December 12, 2023, is the deadline for declaration and there will be no extension,‘’ Cllr. Zoe stressed.

Meanwhile, the New LACC Executive Chairperson has disclosed that seven of its commissioners have all declared their assets even before their confirmation at the Liberian Senate.

She explained that as head of the LACC, she has mandated or instructed in line with the law all staffers within the LACC are required to declare their assets or risk administrative actions. The Legal Framework and Declaration Timeframe

Part 10.1 of the National Code of Conduct for all Public Officials and Employees of the Government of the Republic of Liberia captioned: Declaration of Assets and Performance Bonds provides that “Every Public Official and Employee of Government involved in making decisions affecting contracting, tendering or procurement, and issuance of licenses of various types shall sign performance or financial bonds and shall in addition declare his/her income, assets, and liabilities before to taking office and thereafter.

Cllr. Zoe stated that assets declared or information provided will be confidential as provided under the new LACC Act of 2022 and will be verified to ensure accuracy and legal requirements.

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