By S. Siapha Mulbah (Cub Reporter)
Key integrity institutions are calling for the full operationalization policy of the National Code of Conduct for public officials and government employees.
The institutions’ call is aimed at strengthening the fight against corruption, bad governance and undemocratic practices ahead of the 2023 General and Presidential Elections in Liberia
The Governance Commission (GC), the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) and the Center For Transparency and Accountability (CENTAL) in a one day Consultative meeting yesterday in Monrovia discussed the degenerating of the Liberian laws.
The Officer in charge of the Governance Commission who organized the meeting, Elizabeth Donkins said that the gathering was to discuss the status and the way forward to have the national document in action.
She said that since the Code of Conduct was enacted into law by the legislature and subsequently approved by the President, it has had no impact on its importance.
The panelists at the meeting said that the Code of Conduct is a legal document that guide the behavior of public officials and fight against corruption so that the culture of impunity can be curtailed in the country.
Cllr. Bonor Varmah of the Governance Commission, speaking as a panelist on the theme: “Where Are We in the Operationalization of the Code?”, narrated that the code had languished for over 38 years in the country without any implementation.
He explained that the code is currently in violation as the country will be getting politically charged beginning 2022 towards the 2023 elections of which key section of the Code is about election.
“We should not overlook this: we should not sit down supinely as Liberians and adopt laisez faire attitude as we anticipate pending elections, only to see ourselves bewildered with these challenges, and if we are not careful, we will undoubtedly find ourselves in a quagmire,” Cllr. Varmah explained.
He then urged all citizens to see the issue of the Code of Conduct as everyone’s business to join them call on the President to set up the office of an Ombudsman to have it enforced to the fullest.
Meanwhile, the CENTAL’s Executive Director Anderson Miameh has termed Liberia as a country of great laws but with poor implementation of said laws.
According to Mr. Miameh, Liberia is faced with huge challenges in enforcing her laws in the African circle.
“If you check the list of countries that have the legislations to deal with corruption in other related issues, we may top that list in the region and even on the Continent,” the CENTAL boss noted. ”The freedom of information laws, the code of conduct, and other major laws are merely on the books, but not fully implemented,” Mr. Miameh indicated.
Mr. Miameh furthered that the government is fully charged with the political will through the President to appoint an Ombudsman to make sure that the laws in the land are in compliance by all citizens but such will had been downplayed by the government.
He maintained that the lawmakers who are supposed to aid the citizens in reaching their plights are also in non-compliance thus creating a gap in making the sole laws ineffective.
“Our lawmakers, since 2006 have refused to be audited; LACC is consistently saying that most of the lawmakers are in non-compliance posture with assets declaration,” Dir. Miameh revealed.
The CENTAL Executive Director said that integrity is very key in every country that promotes development and will have that country achieving its agenda.
He added that the integrity institutions in the struggle for such initiative are compromised by having leaders not in proper positions.
According to him, for the last two years, there has not been any effective commissioner at the Governance Commission with two vacancies on the Board of Commissioners at LACC for over a year and other places; emphasizing that there are not much other institutions of government with said vacancies.
“Code Of Conduct Needs To Be Operationalized”
GC, Others Call Public Attention
By S. Siapha Mulbah (Cub Reporter)