Government-by-Government Assessments: Liberia

During the review period, the government did not make its budget documents, including the executive budget proposal, enacted budget, and end of year report, publicly available in a reasonable period of time.  Information on debt obligations, with the exception of state-owned enterprise debt, was widely and easily accessible to the general public, including online.  Foreign assistance receipts, largely project-based, were neither adequately captured in the budget nor subject to the same audit and domestic oversight as other budget items.  Significant deviations between projected and actual revenues during the review period undercut the reliability of budget information.  The supreme audit institution did not meet international standards of independence and did not make its audit reports publicly available within a reasonable period of time.  The criteria and procedures for awarding natural resource extraction licenses and contracts were outlined in law, although there have been reports of corruption and inconsistent application of regulations in practice.  Basic information on some, but not all, natural resource extraction awards was publicly available. Liberia’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • making budget documents publicly available within a reasonable period of time;
  • making state-owned enterprise debt publicly available;
  • ensuring the budget is substantially complete and off-budget accounts are subject to adequate audit and oversight;
  • producing and publishing a supplemental budget when actual revenues and expenditures do not correspond to those in the enacted budget;
  • ensuring the supreme audit institution meets international standards of independence;
  • making supreme audit institution audit reports publicly available within a reasonable period of time;
  • ensuring the criteria and procedures used to award natural resource extraction contracts and licenses are consistent with the requirements set by law or regulation; and
  • making basic information on natural resource extraction awards publicly available.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future