8. Responsible Business Conduct
Liberian authorities do not clearly define responsible business conduct (RBC) and have not established policies or a national action plan to promote or encourage them. The government does not factor RBC concepts into its procurement decisions, nor does it effectively and fairly enforce domestic laws regarding human rights, labor rights, consumer protection, or environmental protections intended to protect individuals from adverse business impacts. Foreign companies are encouraged, but not required, to publicly disclose their policies, procedures, and practices to highlight their RBC practices. Some non-governmental organizations (NGOs), civil society organizations (CSOs), and workers organizations/unions promote or monitor foreign company RBC policies and practices. However, NGOs and CSOs monitoring or advocating for RBC do not conduct their activities in a structured and coordinated manner, nor do they tend to monitor locally-owned companies.
Most Liberians are generally unaware of RBC standards. Generally, the government expects foreign investors to offer social services to local communities and contribute to a development fund for the area in which the enterprise conducts its business. Some communities complain that these contributions to social development funds do not reach them. The government frequently includes clauses in concession agreements that oblige investors to provide social services such as educational facilities, health care, and other essential services. There have been reports that local communities expect foreign investors to provide additional benefits to those outlined in formal concession agreements.
Liberia is a member of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). The National Bureau of Concessions monitors and evaluates concession company compliance with concession agreements, but it does not design policies to promote and encourage RBC.
Liberia suffers from corruption in both the public and private sectors. Some officials engage in corrupt practices with impunity. Liberia has laws against economic sabotage, mismanagement of funds, bribery, and other corruption-related acts, including conflicts of interest. In 2019, Transparency International lowered Liberia’s rank from 120 to 137 out of 180 countries in its corruption perception index. See https://www.transparency.org/country/LBR .
The Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) cannot directly prosecute corruption cases. It must first submit/refer cases to the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) for prosecution. If the MOJ does not prosecute within 90 days, the LACC may then take those cases to court. The LACC continues to seek public support for the establishment of a specialized court to exclusively try corruption cases.
Foreign investors generally report that corruption is most pervasive in government procurement, contract and concession awards, customs and taxation systems, regulatory systems, performance requirements, and government payments systems. Multinational firms often report paying fees not stipulated in investment agreements. No laws explicitly protect NGOs that investigate corruption.
Liberia is signatory to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Protocol on the Fight against Corruption, the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption (AUCPCC), and the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).
Resources to Report Corruption
Contact at government agencies responsible for combating corruption:
Baba Borkai, Chief Investigator
Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), Monrovia, http://lacc.gov.lr/
Toll free: (+231) 777-313131
Contact at a “watchdog” organization (local or nongovernmental organization operating in Liberia that monitors corruption):
Anderson Miamen, Executive Director
Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL)
Tel: (+231) 886-818855
14. Contact for More Information
U.S. Commercial Service Contact Information
Phone: (+231) 77-677-7000