LIBERIA: CENTAL Reveals Public Officials Are Compromised By ‘Back-Door Deals, Bribery

In its 2021 report, the Center for Transparency and Accountability (CENTAL) in its 2021 report indicated that scandals reveal that effective leadership and oversight by public officials are mostly compromised by back-door deals, conflict of interests, embezzlement and bribery.

CENTAL also said officials have found a ‘safe’ way to engage in corruption by ensuring that their private interests are satisfied through budgetary allocations rather than outright embezzlement.

It also noted that integrity institutions are supported below need.  For instance, the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) is challenged by the lack of adequate logistics including computers to fast track the completion of investigative reports, as well as limited fuel supply and funding to support investigative operations and prosecution of corruption cases in all parts of the country.

Millions of dollars have been spent on audits with little results to show. Recommendations from majority of the audits Executive, and Judiciary are not trusted by a majority of citizens to fight corruption.

Medical services and Police services have been ranked as the public services most prone to corruption, followed by education and court services. This can all change, however, with appropriate actions.

A majority of people agree that corruption is not an acceptable way of doing things. If they are supported by their government and other partners, through increasing effectiveness in provision of services and concrete actions against spoilers of the system, the country could really earn a better reputation. Conducted by the General Auditing Commission (GAC) and validated by the Legislature remain largely unenforced.

Challenges undermining judicial integrity, independence, and performance have been further exacerbated by change in the mode and size of funding provided to the judiciary. Quarterly allotments are no longer provided as required by law, and judges’ income have been sliced.

Citizens are aware of most of these issues and want their leaders to act with more integrity. An overwhelming majority see corruption as high in Liberia, and there is a widespread belief that government is tackling it poorly.

Many also encounter corruption directly, mostly through paying bribes. The media and religious institutions tie as the institutions most trusted by citizens to fight corruption, while the Legislature, Executive, and Judiciary are not trusted by a majority of citizens to fight corruption.

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