The Commissioner General of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) Mrs. Elfrieda Stewart Tamba says her administration is unshakably committed to visibly fighting corruption.
She said the LRA has adopted a radical stance in battling corruption and taking actions to spur revenue generation for the good of the country and people.
“We at the LRA have taken a no nonsense approach to combating corruption. For us, Zero Tolerance is the name of the game,” Mrs. Tamba declared Wednesday, December 9, in Monrovia, when she gave the keynote address at a program marking International Anti-Corruption Day.
Mrs. Tamba said the war against corruption in Liberia will remain elusive, despite the many anti-corruption agencies set up by government, unless everyone from every walk of life takes concrete and sustainable actions to curtail the vice.
The LRA Commissioner General said although significant progress has been made in combating corruption in the country and at the LRA, there remain many leakages within the revenue system which demand more concrete and collective actions to deal with the unwholesome practice.
As a mark of institutional commitment, Mrs. Tamba stated that every employee at the LRA is compelled to sign a professional code of conduct that is being vigorously implemented to deter corruption, while robustly collecting the Liberian people’s taxes.
Among other corruption fighting measures, the LRA has established a Professional Ethics Division that is actively investigating ethical transgressions, an Anti-Smuggling arm proactively combating smuggling, while its middle and back offices are being strengthened to data mine and more easily detect fraud and evasion.
“We are not there yet,” the Commissioner General acknowledged to an audience of government officials, development partners and hundreds of students. There is still much more work to be done, added Mrs. Tamba. “There is still corruption but we are unshakably committed to visibly fighting corruption and to taking action.”
She called on the public to join the LRA in fighting corruption by reporting bribery, collusion, seeking of ‘cold water’ among others. “If you are out there and want to fight corruption come and help us,” she urged.
The LRA also has an effective whistleblower program and has recently made a recommendation to the Minister of Finance and Development Planning to increase the award to 10% of the taxes recovered. “We are cultivating alliances; we are using risk profiling to facilitate faster intervention. We are working hard at building internal strength,” she added.
Mrs. Tamba said the war on corruption can be won only if everyone—teachers, the police and judiciary, legislature, the church, marketers, journalists, students, community leaders, among others—commit themselves to doing a little more.