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Finance Minister Boima Kamara Pays Acquaintance Visit to GC

The Minister for Finance and Development Planning paid the Governance Commission an acquaintance visit on Monday July 11. Too often the public, including those working in the public sector, complain of not knowing much about the works of the GC. And so the Commission was glad that the Minister took interest in wanting to know about GC.

Dr. Amos Sawyer who chairs the GC’s Board of Commissioners welcomed Minister Boima Kamara to the Commission and led discussions surrounding the works and operations of GC. Dr. Sawyer pointed out that the Commission has a new five-year strategic plan that places emphasis on a number of issues including rewriting of Liberia’s history, Monitoring and Evaluation of all government’s programs, decentralization of governance among others, and that GC has decided to focus strategically on the first two years of its strategic plan.

This first two years of the GC Strategic plan focuses on the Elections (electoral process) and the subsequent transitional period which will usher in the next government. GC hopes to work with relevant government ministries, agencies, and commissions (MACS) to design a framework that ensures peaceful transition of political power from the incumbent president to the incoming president, and to ensure that gains made in restoring peace to Liberia are not reversed.

Dr. Sawyer briefed Minister Kamara on a number of other issues the Commission had been involved with since the last twenty months including reforms of public institutions’ mandate and functions; institutional frameworks such as the Civil Service Authority (employee) reform organized in collaboration with the Liberia Institute for Public Administration, LIPA; the GOL/CSO partnership Policy  which provides the platform for constructive engagements (to enhance political exchanges and/or dialogues) between government and CSOs in Liberia – identifying roles and responsibilities of both partners.

Other issues the GC is grappling with include completion of activities proposed in the National Vision 2030: Liberia Rising document; assessment of reconciliation as enshrined in the reconciliation roadmap upon which the next government can build upon; and the status and benefits of the decentralization process.

The government needs to increase its support to GC to allow the Commission implement its various programs. Part of the Transitional plan of GC entails promoting policy and political dialogues between political actors and the people to avoid zero sum gains; delays, and “wait and see attitudes” on the part of donors; and hold consultations around the recommendations of the CRC report sent to the Legislature by President Sirleaf. These recommendations highlight the concerns of Liberians on 15 contending national issues including the issue of dual citizenship among others.

A power point presentation of GC’s accomplishments, challenges and the way forward was also presented to Minister Kamara.

Responding Finance and Development Planning Minister Boima Kamara thanked GC for the level of partnership and work done in support of political, social and economic reforms and governance in Liberia. Minister Kamara observed that work related to Liberia’s transition is already helping to assure stability, and at the same time build human capacity (software) into the hardware projects/programs of Liberia.

Minister Kamara noted the multiple needs of the various MACs but promised to work with GC in strengthening the implementation of its numerous programs. The GC appealed to the Minister to help distribute copies of the GOL/CSO partnership policy among MACs, a request he quickly oblige to do at Cabinet.  Minister Kamara, like his predecessor Amara Konneh, has committed to help strengthen the decentralization process and other policies in keeping with resources available in the context of government/MFDP.

The government is currently funding salaries and some operational costs of GC but still needs to step up support for GC programs to match that of donor, to maximize the Commission’s output.

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