Liberia: LRA Stands By Administrative Decision Against Assistant Commissioner Jaber

The Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) says it maintains the suspension of James Afif Jaber, Assistant Commissioner for Real Estate Tax Division, for gross administrative breach.

In a statement issued on Thursday, November 30, the LRA noted that it stands firm on the suspension action because it acted in line with its HR Management Policy, Disciplinary Guide, and Professional Ethics Standards.

“All LRA employees, including James Afif Jaber, are subject to disciplinary measures based on professionalism and adherence to established protocols,” the statement says. The LRA upholds rigorous ethical standards applicable to all staff, regardless of position.”

The national revenue collection entity emphasized its commitment to revenue collection for national development and safeguarding taxpayers' interests and the organization's reputation.

Assistant Commissioner Jaber was recently suspended by the LRA for what some insiders have termed a breach of ethical standards. However, Jaber has allegedly become a recent distraction due to his engagement with media outlets whose reports are implicating senior management, notably Deputy Commissioner General for Administrative Affairs, Samuel Bennett, Jr.

Jaber told newsmen that Jaber his suspension is a direct consequence of his efforts to raise alarms regarding impropriety and corruption within the organization.

In response, the LRA has since maintained that its action is in line with the authority's Human Resource Manual, Disciplinary Guide, and Professional Ethics Standards. Contrary to the claims made by James and his lawyer regarding the social media publication of his suspension letter, the LRA asserts that such an allegation is misleading.

Regarding disciplinary measures, Section 14.3 of the LRA HRMP provides individuals like Jaber the right to appeal against penalties, such as his suspension through the Commissioner General's office. However, the authority strongly condemns the act of publicizing internal matters through the media, deeming it unacceptable behavior. Administrative issues should be resolved through proper channels and not in the media.

 Furthermore, the LRA's HR Manual grants employees like Mr. Jaber the right to appeal against penalties, such as his suspension, and he’s encouraged to use the appeal process to address his concerns as a staff, rather than seeking to resolve internal and administrative matters through the media.