What’s Next For Outgoing Officials?

The deadline for outgoing public officials to declare their assets expired on Tuesday, December 12, 2023 with no information as to who declared and who did not.

The Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) recently mandated all outgoing government officials to declare their assets by December, but up to present. Nothing significant has been heard as to whether the outgoing Liberian Government officials did corporate with the LACC mandate.

LACC Executive Chairperson, Cllr. Alexandra Zoe announced on November 28, 2023 that any official who fails to comply with the mandate of the LACC will be penalized in keeping with law.

Addressing the Ministry of Information press briefing last week, Cllr. Zoe disclosed that LACC will take disciplinary action against any official that refuses or failed to declare his or her exit assets. “The LACC is ready to investigate and prosecute corrupt individuals and institutions involved in graft within the mandate and power given to them,” Cllr. Zoe maintained.

She quoted Section 5.1 of LACC Act as saying, “the Commission shall have the broad mandate and functions to implement appropriate measures.”

LACC boss said the Commission will 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.

Zoe promised that the institution would 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 stated.

Cllr. Zoe revealed that the exercise to compel outgoing officials to declare their assets is not to witch-hunt the government or individuals, but to execute the mandate of the LACC; adding that it is also intended to do the right things and to remind them about the law.

She at the same time disclosed that seven of its commissioners have all declared their assets even before their confirmation at the Liberian Senate.

It is not known whether public officials declared their exit assets as mandated by LACC. “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 taking office and thereafter,” the LACC boss said.

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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