Home About Liberia LACC Launches Major Anti-Corruption Awareness, Targeting Five Counties……

LACC Launches Major Anti-Corruption Awareness, Targeting Five Counties……

by Francis Pelenah Jr,

Ganta, Nimba County, Sunday, May 19, 2024 – The Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission is encouraging citizens to report any act of corruption within their work places and communities.

LACC said corruption, in both public and private places, has over the years, undermined good governance, hampering Liberia’s growth and economic development.

In a statement read on behalf of the Institution, LACC Prevention Officer, John Tommy said by reporting corruption, Liberians will be saving government millions of dollars for development purposes.

He was speaking on Saturday, May 18, 2024, in Ganta, Nimba County during the launch of an anti-corruption awareness campaign by the LACC and partners.

Mr. Tommy wants Liberians make use of the whistleblower and Witness Protection Acts by raising alarm wherever they suspect any act of corruption.

“Don’t sit there, do something! We invite you to join the anti-corruption bandwagon. There is no time to sit on the fence. Liberia lies in squalor and poverty, and we must do everything to reclaim our enviable place among the comity of nations” he charged the audience.

The LACC Official then assured the public of the institution’s commitment its core functions of preventing, investigating, and prosecuting acts of corruption.

The program, titled, “Strengthening Rule of Law in Liberia”, supports an enabling environment for growth and development by strengthening anti-corruption institutions to increase transparency and accountability and combat corruption.

The LACC believes strengthening collaboration with the public will help reinforce and increase public confidence in their government.

The project, which was also launched in Tubmanburg, Bomi County on Saturday, will see the LACC carrying out appropriate anti-corruption public education and awareness programs Nimba, Grand Bassa, Montserrado, Bomi and Grand Gedeh Counties.

The ongoing awareness is aimed at popularizing the New LACC Act, the Whistleblower Law and Witness Protection Law among citizens of Liberia.

LACC Prevention Officer, John Tommy again added “As we officially launch the Strengthening of Rule of Law Project today, we look forward to increased citizens’ knowledge on the New LACC Act and other anti-corruption legislations; improved public perception and appreciation of the LACC mandate and activities”.

About three-thousand (3,000) copies of the amended and restated LACC Act are expected to be distributed, alongside over two thousand copies of the Whistle-blower Act and the Witness Protection Act by the end of the project.

The weekend’s program brought together scores of Gompa City residents and stakeholders, including students, civil society, the religious community, law enforcement institutions and transport unions.

Gompa City Mayor, Samuel Hardt lauded the LACC for choosing to host the program in his city, describing corruption as a major public concern. He promised to support efforts aimed at strengthening accountability.

At the same time, several public sector employees have attributed the prevalence of corruption to extremely low salaries being paid by the government.

Representatives of the Police, Drug Enforcement Agency, Liberia Immigration Service, Teachers Association and Health Workers have all complained about how low salaries and lack of incentives have created huge credibility problems in public service.

They said the situation has reduced them to beggars, at times forcing them to engage in some unwanted behavior just to survive and feed their families.

For Saye Baor, of the Liberia Marketing Association, Ganta Office, patriotism and honesty are key to eradicating corruption.

He believes someone who dearly loves their country will work with a great deal of honesty and go an extra mile to ensure it succeeds.

Students and various transport unions were concern about enforcement mechanism and the independence of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission.

They expressed concern mainly about the reporting / whistleblowing aspect, asking questions about who to trust their information with.

However, Atty. Abraham Gborie, in his presentation and response to questions, laid out the processes of raising alarm or whistleblowing on suspected corrupt practices.

“If you see something going on, report it to the LACC or someone who you trust and you must not explain to others after raising alarm” Atty. Gborie added.

He also made the audience aware that whistleblowers cannot be prosecuted, even if it turns out that the information, they provided lacks evidence and no corrupt act was found.

The anti-corruption awareness is being carried under the ‘Strengthening the Rule of Law Project’ funded by the governments of Luxembourg and the Republic of Korea, through the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

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