Finance Ministry Praises World Bank Public Sector Specialist

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The Ministry of Finance and Development Planning through its Economic Governance and Institution Reform Project (EGIRP) has lavished praises on the outgoing World Bank Senior Public Sector Specialist, Mr. Raymond Muhula.

Mr. Muhula was highly commended yesterday for his remarkable role in helping the Government of Liberia to improve efficiency and transparency in several areas including public financial management and human resources, focusing on revenue administration, public procurement, budget execution and payroll management.

He was also gowned and certificated by the Director General of the Liberia Institute for Public Administration (LIPA), Oblayon Nyemah.

The EGIRP, which Mr. Muhula helped set up within the MFDP, has two sources totaling US$18 million. This project, which became effective on May 23, 2008, was expected to close on August 31, 2011 but has been extended to June 30, 2015 due to Ebola.

“No cost extension request to the World Bank from the Government of Liberia through the Minister of Finance Amara Konneh has been made to complete the outstanding activities.”

The project aimed to support governance and institutional reforms by strengthening Public Financial Management processes and systems, building the capacity of civil servants with focus on public procurement as a pilot, and initiating civil service reform.

At the project and component activity levels, the project will promote greater transparency and reinforce accountability by strengthening participation of non-governmental stakeholders and civil society organizations.

Mr. Boniface Satu, Project Coordinator of EGIRP, who gives an update on its activities and results at special joint board meetings with the Project Technical Committee and National Steering Committee, said the original Project Development Objectives (PDO) was designed to improved efficiency and transparency in managing public financial management and human resources.

Satu said the project is also intended to improve economic governance and strengthen public administration which has been a key priority for the President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf government

This priority, he said, was clearly reflected in the government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy (Lifting Liberia for 2008-2011) under the first PRS pillar: Governance and the rule of law.

The importance attached to this pillar reflects the extent that poor governance, characterized by widespread corruption and abuse of public resources, has eroded public confidence in government, a legacy of the 14 year civil war that destroyed productive assets, physical infrastructure, institutional and human capacity which has untimely led to collapsed the economy and worsen the living standard of its citizens, he said.

The Project Coordinator of EGIRP also disclosed that due to scale-up activities the government requested for additional financing of US$7 million to finance activities to cover the cost overrun, and establish project management as a separate component. 

According to him, Additional Financing (AF) or credit financed two expanded activities under component one and two.

Under component one, he said, they upgraded MFDP LAN, interim software and link Liberia Expenditure Control and Accounting Program (LECAP) with the Sun Accounting System and established a wide area network (WAN).

Also, the AF contributed to the completion of Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS), the Human Resource Management Information System (HRMIS) at Civil Service Agency (CSA), and support to civil service reform by supporting the continued maintenance of well performing qualified staff contracted under Senior Executive Service (SES) and enabling their mainstreaming into the regular civil service, Mr. Satu added.

Mr. Satu also thanked the World Bank Senior Public Sector Specialist for the support in building the financial sector of Liberia.  

Gowning Mr. Muhula on behalf of the Government of Liberia through the MFDP, the Deputy Minister for Administration lauded him and pray that he will continue his good in that direction.

For his part, World Bank Group Senior Public Sector Specialist thanked the GOL and EGIRP for the level cooperation between him and the people of finance in building the public financial sector.

Mr. Muhula will be taking his new assignment in Austra, Vienna.

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