The Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) and the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish a formal framework to strengthen collaboration for the effective and expeditious investigation of corruption and related crimes within the LRA, a press release said yesterday.
The agreement also covers the receipt, filing and verification of all declarations of assets and interest made or to be made by members of the LRA Board of Directors, the Commissioner General and other officials and staff of the LRA.
The MOU designates the LRA to investigate all acts of corruption discovered or reported to have occurred or about to occur within the LRA involving officials, employees, contractors or non-staff persons.
The MOU was signed last Friday, August 12, at in the office of the LACC in Congo Town. The Executive Chairperson of the LACC, Cllr. James N. Verdier, Jr. and the Commissioner General of the LRA, Mrs. Elfrieda Stewart Tamba signed on behalf of their respective institutions.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Cllr. Verdier and Mrs. Tamba expressed optimism in the implementation of the MOU and noted that institutions can better achieve common objectives when they collaborate.
In keeping with the MOU, the LRA shall investigate acts and conducts believed to constitute corruption or other violations of the tax laws of Liberia by any private individual or corporate tax payer with the complicity of LRA Employees.
Notwithstanding, the LACC may directly investigate and prosecute any and all acts and conducts believed to constitute corruption by LRA officials, employees, contractors or non-staff personnel.
The MOU further provides that the LRA agrees that Asset Declaration forms completed and submitted by LRA non-appointed officials and staff/individuals shall at all times be made available to the LACC for the purposes of investigation and prosecution when requested. The LRA officials appointed by the Government shall continue to submit their asset declarations directly to LACC with a copy to the Professional Ethics Division.
The LACC and LRA also agreed to designate one or more contact/focal person(s) from each institution who will be responsible to coordinate all matters arising in the implementation of the MOU, including processing and following up on communications and outstanding tasks.