At long last, the acquiescence of the Plenary of the House of Representatives has birthed the formal creation and launch of the Bi-Partisan Legislative Caucus on Illicit Financial Flows and Taxation.
Tuesday’s formality in the House’s first floor conference room of the Capitol Building came out of the African Parliamentary Network on Illicit Financial Flows (APNIFFT) Parliamentary Caucus meeting held in Monrovia on August 4, 2021, along with the Tax Justice Network (TJN) and its national partner, Integrity Watch Liberia (IW-Liberia).
Closing the loop in Illicit Financial Flows from the grim reality of the massive financial hemorrhage due to illicit financial flows, and the need to pursue fair and progressive taxation to address structural inequalities, the bi-partisan Legislative group formally announced their commitment to regularize the formation of a bi-partisan Legislative caucus based on a shared strategic purpose, void of party and national politics and dedicated to the quest of progressive taxation and boosting domestic resource
mobilization by addressing drivers of illicit financial flows.
Montserrado County District #16 Representative and Chairman of the House Committee on Banking and Currency, Dixon Seeboe, said the aim of the organization is to monitor the free flow of financial transactions within the country.
The Montserrado County lawmaker further stressed that the Caucus will exert every possible effort in order to work in conformity with Integrity Watch-Liberia for fair taxation and promote smooth monitoring of the system.
He added that the Caucus was also established for several engagements such as review of insensitive regimes, development of lifestyle audit legislation, among others.
Also speaking, Sinoe County District #3 Representative, Matthew Zarzar, who spoke on behalf of House Speaker Dr. Bhofal Chambers, said the initiative of the Caucus is a good initiative. As such, he promised his commitment to the Caucus for the growth and development of the Country.
For his part, the Director General of Financial Intelligence Unit of Liberia (FIU), Edwin Harris, assured the Caucus of his institution’s commitment and promised to work along with the Caucus and Integrity Watch-Liberia for the reduction of illicit financial flows, taxation and money laundering in Liberia.
Director Harris has cautioned stakeholders to work in line with the Bi-Partisan Legislative Caucus for its achievement.
The objective of the Bi-Partisan Legislative Caucus on Illicit Financial Flows and Taxation has to do with strengthening its internal capacity to develop laws that address illicit financial flows and fair taxation and provide robust oversight.
“For the purpose of effective management, the Bi-Partisan Legislative Caucus shall comprise not less than 10 or [not] more than 20 persons. It will have a permanent secretariat, who
will be responsible to coordinate the affairs of the caucus and provide technical support," the document said.
The priority issues for the Caucus will involve reviewing the incentive regime and developing appropriate legislative stopgaps, exporting proceeds repatriation, lifestyle audit legislation, and duplicating all concession contracts as part of contract negotiation.
Those who signed include: Rep. Francis Dopoh, Rep. Richard Koon, Rep. Rustonlyn Dennis, Rep. Thomas Goshua and Rep. P. Mike Jurry, Rep. Ben Fofana, Rep. Dr. George Boley, Rep. Clarence Garr, Rep. Dr. Isaac Roland, Rep. Dr. George Samah, Rep. Matthew Zaza, Rep. Matthew Joe, and Rep. Dorwohn Twain Gleekia.