The National Civil Society Council of Liberia (NCSCL) is concerned about the growing challenges to integrity institutions in Liberia, especially by public functionaries that are under a moral obligation to respond to these institutions.
The concern of the National Civil Society Council of Liberia grows out of the increased contempt that is being shown the Liberia Ant Corruption Commission (LACC), especially in regards to its attempts to investigate corruption allegations involving the House of Representatives.
“The widening dimension of allegations and counter allegations about corruption in the House demands a fuller and more independent investigation that will give the public the opportunity to understand happenings there,” Frances Greaves, Chairperson of the National Civil Society Council of Liberia said.
The parent body of Liberia CSOs said it is rather frustrating that the House of Representatives, which should provide oversight on public affairs, including on accountability issues, is itself under serious question. With this situation, the House may not be on the right footing to investigate government operations.
The National Civil Society Council of Liberia is meanwhile challenging members of the House to place themselves above reproach by working with the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission and other integrity institutions to restore public confidence in their work.
This means, Speaker Tyler and members of the leadership – both former and current – must avail themselves to such integrity institutions like LACC, PPCC and GAC in getting to the bottom of this issue.
This case is a reminder that the work of integrity institutions are continuously undermined by people, who have come under question. This action dents the fight against corruption, and unfortunately adds to underdevelopment and poverty in our country.
The House of Representatives and other institutions that have been drawn into the present fray, like the National Oil Company and the Ministry of Finance, must “provide the time and opportunity for the investigations to go ahead, unobstructed,” the National Civil Society Council Chair said.
Meanwhile, the CSO Council has assured the LACC of its fullest confidence and urges it to remain steadfast in its work and go after cases wherever they are.
“We also call upon the LACC to strengthen its investigations, to make sure that any case put forth is worth the effort to hold anyone for betraying the public trust.”
As the CSOs’ Council campaigns for the strengthening of national institutions and the use of our Country systems as the best path for a sustainable socio-economic and political recovery, it will also do all it can to ensure that the operations of these institutions are characterized primarily by a high degree of integrity.
The CSO position was derived from an emergency meeting called on Monday.
The National Civil Society Council of Liberia is arranging a larger meeting to consider further engagements with the legislature.