The government of Liberia has commenced the regular publication of revenue and expenditure reports of the various spending entities in an effort to further enhance its commitment to transparency and accountability. Under the new measure, the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning will post weekly fiscal reports to its website (www.mfdp.gov.lr).
These reports, dubbed Fiscal Data Transparency Measure, will reflect budget performances of individual entities that have up to now only been shared with the International Monetary Fund. The first of the FDTM report was published on May 24, 2020. The government has said that the publication of the reports is in continuation of the Open Budget and Fiscal transparency initiative exercise.
The figures from the weekly reviews will be reconciled with GOL’s bank statements, and they will include detailed data on expenditure (both in cash and commitment), allotments, and financial budget allocations made to date. It will also be broken down by economic classification (wages, goods, and services, subsidies, debt service, etc.) and at the level of the individual spending agency. The release of the data, which is mandated by the Public Financial Management law of 2009, represents a marked departure from the past and a significant step at furthering the culture of fiscal accounting, monitoring, and transparency.
Additionally, MFDP has also begun implementing a newly designed Cash Management System that has effectively addressed the issue of cash shortage when allotments are made. Under the new scheme, allotments will now be approved based on the availability of cash.
Meanwhile, Liberia has made enormous fiscal progress in implementing “prior actions” agreed with the IMF. Liberia scored 3/4 percentage point in the latest evaluation by the Fund. Prior actions are conditions that a member country must implement prior to the Board of Governors’ approval of the IMF supported program. Liberia’s performance is a reflection of fiscal reforms being undertaken over a period of several months.