Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia launches local governance toolkit
The Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL) on 17 November 2008 launched a toolkit that assesses the existence, effectiveness, and citizen access to key governance and anti-corruption mechanisms in each of Liberia's 15 counties. The launching event took place at the Corina Hotel in Monrovia.
The event which was attended by prominent individuals from government, civil society, media, diplomatic as well as international NGO circles, brought together up to 45 participants. Dr. Amos C. Sawyer, Former Interim President and Chairman of the Governance Commission served as keynote speaker and chief launcher at the event.
In his keynote address, Dr Sawyer while lauding the effort, admonished civil society players to serve as example to those from whom they demand integrity, fairness and transparency in their operations. He said for one to be taken seriously by the government and the people to exercise custodial oversight over public interest, one must himself live by the same standards. Because, according to him, one is always judged by the measure of judgment by which he judges others. Dr. Sawyer indicated that many of the initiatives undertaken by CENTAL was laudable and noted that good work leads to increase expectations; the onus is on CENTAL to raise the bar In the fight against corruption and bad governance.
Also making remarks at the event were Hon. Jewel Howard Taylor, Chairman on Governance at the Liberian Senate; Counselor Negbalee T. Warner, Secretary of LEITI; Madam Estelle Liberty, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Others speakers included Lucy Abbott, Economic Officer at the US the Embassy; Ernest Gaie, Country Director of Action Aid Liberia; Sidi Diawara, Country Representative of Trust Africa; and Mr. Othello Weh, Deputy Director General of the Civil Service Agency (CSA).
Their individual messages struck the same chord that while the effort is commendable more needed to be done in the way of bringing pressure to bear on all stakeholders, such that Liberia’s recovery process gains more momentum.
The toolkit is the result of an empirical data collection effort made possible through a one year undertaking by CENTAL with partnership of the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) and Global Integrity, which many interested individuals as well as research institutions should find useful.
The local governance toolkit which is a Sub-National Integrity Indicator creates a scorecard for Liberia that assesses the existence, effectiveness, and citizen access to key governance and anti-corruption mechanisms in each of Liberia's 15 counties. Each county scorecard comprises more than 200 individual Integrity Indicators questions that are guided by consistent scoring criteria across all counties and supported by original document research and interviews with experts. The indicators explore issues such as the transparency of the local budget process, media freedom, asset disclosure requirements for political leaders, and conflicts of interest regulations at the county level. It also deals with Whistleblower’s rights, Public-Private Campaigns, the Civil Service , Property Rights and Law Enforcement.
Scorecards take into account both existing legal measures on the books as well as de facto realities of practical implementation in each county. They were scored by a lead in-country researchers directed by CENTAL and blindly reviewed by a panel of peer reviewers.
For any press enquiries please contact
Thomas Doe Nah
CENTAL Executive Director