-Instead of ‘Consolidated Account’
The chairman on the Committee of Good Governance and Government Reform in the House of Representatives, Rep. Larry Younquoi, has suggested that the county development funds (CDF) should be deposited into the county’s account to avoid holdups in withdrawal, especially disavowals.
The Nimba County District # 8 Representative told his colleagues, especially freshman lawmakers, that counties have experienced extreme headaches over the years trying to access the CDF from the consolidated account, which prevented some counties from receiving their respective CDFs, which is usually allotted in the annual budget.
Speaking as one of the facilitators on the topic, ‘Decentralization, with focus on the County/Social Development Fund (C/SDF),’ on Friday, February 23, the last day of the three-day orientation for new members of the House of Representatives, Rep. Younquoi argued that some counties receive their CDFs late, for which he blamed the slow pace of economic development projects.
“I would prefer the CDF be deposited into the county’s account instead of the consolidated account to avoid the too many bureaucratic bottlenecks and strings, which mostly cause counties to not get their money on time, or not at all,” Rep. Younquoi said.
At least US$200,000 is allocated annually in the national budget for each county’s development purposes, which are decided by the various county councils and implemented by the project management team (PMC).
Beside the CDF, the social development fund (SDF), provided by concessionaires and companies operating in the counties, is also decided by the county councils and implemented by the PMC.
Furthermore, each district in a county gets funds for legislative support projects (LSP) – at least US$50,000 – which is provided by the government through the budget.
The LSP is a direct district development project identified by the district’s lawmakers (Representatives and Senators) to address crucial development needs, which are implemented by Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE).
But critics contend that the money is used for ‘self-glorification projects’ by legislators, alleging that there is no accountability for the funds.
A staff in the office of Rep. Younquoi told the Daily Observer yesterday, through mobile phone, that the Nimba County lawmaker is seriously considering writing a formal communication to the House’s Plenary requesting that the CDF not be in government’s consolidated account.