Liberia: MFDP Launches Public Financial Management Awareness Program

The Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) has launched an awareness program on Public Financial Management (PFM) in Liberia.

The program was launched at the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT) on Thursday, 2 June 2022.

It is launched to help clarify the national budget in context and at the same time achieve the overall fiscal discipline, allocation of resources to priority needs, and efficient and effective allocation of public services.

During the launching exercise, the Comptroller and Accountant General of the Republic of Liberia, Atty. Janga A. Kowo disclosed that the project is being funded by the World Bank.

Atty. Kowo explained that when the project is initiated, it will reveal the total estimated fraction of government spending on public projects in the country.

He detailed that the core objective of the PFM is to improve citizens’ lives through better management of public money, saying during those days, people used to collect government taxes, but that is being done today by the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA).

“So it is our responsibility to tell the public how those taxes are used for the benefit of the Liberian people that is the objective of the PFM,” he said.

After the launch of the PFM project, he said, an initial team of supervisors will be disbursed to fact check how government money has been spent on a public project across the country.

“We will be going after every penny, so when you see them, they have not come to accuse you, but to fact check whether the funds allotted by the government [are] used appropriately,” he explained.

Explaining further, Atty. Kowo said they must see what resources are available to the country every year and how those resources have been deployed to the service of the people.

“The key thing is not how much resources we have as a country, but how much we spend, that is the cogent reason for the launch,” Kowo stated.

He added that Liberia’s post-war financial management started when the interim government came to power.

Mr. Kowo also stated that the interim government at the time formulated some interim financial rules which were intended to help them operate the financial resources of the country because at that time there were no PFM laws.

According to Atty Kowo, the Act was later revised in 2019 to accommodate the changing realities of the PFM landscape among which was the creation of the Comptroller and Accountant General Department within the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning.

“The amendment was necessary because the PFM Act of 2009 had been in operation for 10 years, so it needs to be amended and updated to reflect current reality,” Kowo noted.

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