LEITI, LACC, FIA Cement Landmark Synergy To Combat Financial Crimes, Corruption, Promote Good Governance
In what has been described as a significant watershed in collaborative efforts, three integrity institutions of the Government of Liberia have agreed to work towards a common cause to foster collective efforts in combating financial crimes and promoting good governance in the country.
The FIA, LACC, and LEITI, on Wednesday, January 24, 2024, agreed through their respective heads to align their works in executing their statutory responsibilities. According to a press release at the end of their meeting, the primary objective of the collaborative initiative is “to combine the strengths, resources, and expertise of the FIA, LACC, and LEITI in a unified front against money laundering, corruption, and other financial crimes.”
The release further said by working together, the entities aim to enhance efficiency and effectiveness, streamline processes, ensure collaborative approaches to sharing intelligence, identify practical solutions and strengthen their collective impact on ensuring integrity and transparency within Liberia.
Speaking at the end of the meeting, during which the agreement was signed, the three heads were visibly excited about the outcome of the meeting, spoke from their respective perspectives, and expressed optimism that the new arrangement would bolster their work and improve productivity.
"This collaboration is a significant milestone in our collective efforts to safeguard Liberia's financial system. By pooling our resources and expertise, we can address financial crimes more effectively and promote a culture of transparency and accountability”, said Stanley S. Ford, Director General of FIA.
Cllr. Alexandra Zoe, Chairperson, LACC, who spoke on behalf of her institution, said the initiative with the other institutions was a massive step forward in the fight against corruption. "Our partnership with FIA and LEITI marks a crucial step in the fight against corruption. Together, we can amplify our impact, enhance oversight, and build a stronger foundation for integrity in Liberia”, she said.
Mr. Jeffrey N. Yates, Head of Secretariat at LEITI, lauded the initiative and indicated that it will assist his agency in meeting critical requirements of the 2023 EITI Standard.
"Transparency in the extractive industries is vital for national development. Through this collaboration, the LEITI will ensure that recommendations and critical findings from their reports will be shared with the two institutions for deeper review and consideration.”
The release concluded that the collaboration reflects the shared commitment of FIA, LACC, and LEITI to work together in addressing financial crimes and corruption and promoting good governance, adding, “the synergy created by this partnership is anticipated to yield positive outcomes for the nation."
The commitment comes as Liberia launched its landmark Beneficial Ownership Register. The register aims to help increase accountability in the Country's business sector, strengthen domestic resource mobilization, and reduce risks of money laundering, corruption, and other financial or environmental crimes. The new digital beneficial ownership register was launched on September 29, 2023. The full register will be available in March 2024, when companies can start making their BO declarations.
The new digital BO register is part of Liberia's work to promote transparency and accountability and ensure that the benefits of its industries are fairly shared among all citizens. It is also part of the Country's broader effort to leverage digital technology to automate, streamline, and improve efficiencies in delivering critical Government-to-business services, including business registration. The register launch marks a pivotal moment, signaling the Country's dedication to good governance and responsible business practices as it seeks to attract and bolster private sector investment.