RECENTLY, THE HEAD of the European Union Delegation to Liberia warned that there cannot be EU budget support to any of its partner nations including Liberia without open, transparent, regular and thorough dialogue on the budgetary process.
AMB. ATTILIO PACIFICI said such dialogue on the budgetary process covers all aspects related to the generation and utilisation of public funds in its partner countries into which coffers EU taxpayers’ money is deposited through budget support.
THE EU BOSS said regular dialogue provides a framework to take stock of the implementation of Liberia’s policies and reforms as well as of donors’ commitments, including the EU, and to assess progress on the basis of criteria and performance indicators as well as extensive discussions with the Government.
SPEAKING ON THE theme “Fostering Transparency & Accountability in Governance: Evaluation of the Performance of FY 2012/13”, Ambassador Pacifici, stressed that further efforts are still needed to ensure full disclosure of all relevant fiscal information in a timely and systematic manner in Liberia.
INDEED WE CONCUR with what the EU boss said that transparency is needed in the implementation of the nation’s national budget because as he rightly said, this is a key element of good governance, as the public availability of comprehensive, accessible, useful, and timely budgetary information is a prerequisite for domestic accountability.
WE ALSO THINK that with more and better budgetary information, national control bodies like the Legislature, the Audit Institutions, civil society organisations, and media, can scrutinize the budget and hold decision makers to account for collecting and using public funds effectively and efficiently and to call for policies that improve service delivery.
WHAT IS MOST important now is an open, transparent, regular and thorough dialogue on the budgetary process if Liberia is to benefit from budgetary support from partners including the EU because without transparency in the process most of the donors and partners will withdraw their support.
AND IT IS based on this that we are joining the EU and other well-meaning Liberians to call on civil society organisations to play key role in contributing to the formulation of national and sector policies; policy dialogues, sector coordination; joint reviews; performance and budget monitoring; and the provision of capacity development, in particular for budget literacy and public expenditure tracking bearing in mind that the EU is one of the main budget support donors to Liberia.
LET US NOT forget that we need all the necessary support for the growth and development of our dear country but this can only be done if we carry on our activities in a more transparent and open manner to encourage our partners for more budgetary support.
AGAIN, WE CALL on the government to heed to the warning of the EU boss by being open and transparent and hold a thorough dialogue on the budgetary process to benefit every Liberian and not only the elites.