Liberians’ Apathy Undermines LACC

Liberians Apathy Cllr. James Verdier, Jr1..jpg

The Executive Director of the Liberia Anti Corruption Commission, Cllr. James Verdier, Jr has said that the unwillingness of Liberians to provide credible information to prosecute those charged with corruption is undermining its work.
“People are not willing to come up with credible information to help prosecute those that the LACC has charged with corruption,” Verdier said yesterday at the end of a one-day Accountability Forum, held at a local resort in Monrovia.
Making remarks at the one-day program held by IREX, with support from the Carter Center and USAID, Verdier, whose participation was interrupted by what he described as ‘official business’ said it is important for International Non-Governmental Organizations, (INGOs) operating in the country to remain accountable to the Liberian people on how much money they are operating in their interest.
“We want to know how much they are bringing and therefore they must work with the LACC to demonstrate accountability,” Verdier told the gathering of over 35 participants from decision makers drawn from the private and government agencies.
He told IREX, one of the organizers of the forum, “You have a partner in our determination to be accountable with funds that are brought here for the Liberian people.”
Earlier, the forum gave an overview of the discussion and the historical context and the specific challenges associated with accountability in Liberia, as it relates to INGOs’ services in the country.
Participants included Information Minister Lewis Brown, USAID Mission Director John Mark Winfield and IREX Chief of Party William (Bill) Burke.
Others included Mr. Lamii Kpargoi, officer in charge at the Liberia Media Center (LMC), who under what was described as the Situation Room, examined the purpose, the structure, the various stakeholders and their roles in accountability.
IREX Senior Media Specialist Maureen Sieh discussed the role of the INGOs, donors and the Government of Liberia in the area of accountability.
Cllr. Negbalee Warner from The Carter Center (TCC) discussed the benefit of the discussion and how Liberia can improve relations as well as accountability among all stakeholders and to the Liberian people, with emphasis on proactive disclosure.
Also present were representatives from the United States Embassy.

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