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MONROVIA: The Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency and the International Budget Partnership have hailed efforts Liberia has made to promote budget transparency.
The international financial groups based in Washington D.C. United States, informed Finance and Development Planning Minister Samuel D. Tweah Jr., that despite inevitable challenges, the quality of leadership demonstrated by MFDP has strongly advanced the disclosure of information on the use of public resources as well as the expansion of the possibilities for public participation in the budget process.
In a dispatch to Minister Tweah dated May 25, 2020, the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency and the International Budget Partnership jointly commended the Government of Liberia for having a 6% increase in the 2019 edition of International Budget Partnership’s Open Budget Survey, to 38 out of 100 indicators compared to 2017 during which Liberia passed 36 out of 100 indicators.
The Partners said Liberia through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning has collaborated as much possible to share its own experience and to benefit from peer-to-peer technical collaboration the GIFT network offers.
It said both GIFT and IBP (lead steward and a founding member of the network) work to support, from complementary perspective and trenches, improvements in open budgeting practices in Liberia.
Accordingly, the dispatch revealed that in 2019, Liberia was selected to be part of the Fiscal Openness Accelerator, a project to pilot public participation mechanism in the budget process and further improve in budget transparency.
“But now, we would like to take some additional steps, small but with significant impact. First, given the catastrophic pandemic and its profound implications in all areas, including public finances and fiscal systems, we would like to help Liberia in facing this crisis with the greatest possible fiscal transparency.
As part of its global mandate and collaborative approach, the GIFT network has developed a guide to support its members in responding to the fiscal challenges of COVID-19 with timely and accessible information that helps identify governmental datasets and data fields required for informed decision-making processes and meaningful fiscal transparency, with a user-centered and purpose-oriented approach” the communication disclosed.
The communication also expressed the interest of the two bodies in having discussions with Minister Tweah or a high-level representative on concrete, possible and simple steps the Ministry could take to substantially improve budget transparency and public participation that are in line with the OBS2019 results for Liberia as well as the targets set in IBP’s call to action on open budgets.