Monrovia - The number of local and international non organizations operating in Liberia is so large to the extent that in several counties their operations overlap.
“No, people should not make mistake. Who told you only government institutions are subject to accountability?
All of those international NGOs that receive money on behalf Liberia are also subject to accountability, because those monies are public funds”-Cllr. Jerome Verdier, Chairperson, Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission
Many donors channel huge funding through these NGOs and INGOs to carry out projects and programs in the country but the impact of millions provided these organizations are most instances not visible.
On a regular basis, many Liberians venture into establishing new NGOs with the hope of sourcing funding from donors and it has become a common saying that accounting for money to donors in the NGO sector is easy since many of these big donors do not come on the ground to physically verify what is reported by their local implementing partners.
All attention is on corruption within the government circle which is highly discussed with even some organizations in the NGOs community establishing monitoring mechanisms reporting on issues of corruption in government.
Now the Chairman of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), Cllr James Verdier, says International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs) working in Liberia receiving money on behalf of the country are held accountable for the usage of those funds.
Cllr. Verdier said government has the right to ask international NGOs that receive money on behalf of Liberia on how they (NGOs) use money provided to them for use in Liberia.
“We need to know what happens to monies that are received by NGOs on behalf of Liberia. Who told you that the government of Liberia does not have the right to ask international NGOS working here and receiving funding on behalf of Liberia to give account of how those funds are used,” he noted.
The LACC boss noted that many people believe that it is only government institutions that are subject to audit, saying once an institution receives money on behalf of Liberia, said fund becomes a public fund thus making it compulsory for those INGOs to give account on how they use those funds,
“No, people should not make mistake, who told you only government institutions are subject to accountability, all of those international NGOs that receive money on behalf Liberia are also subject to accountability, because those monies are public funds,” he said.
Speaking at program marking the inaugural ceremony of officials elect of the Staff Association of UNDP, UNFPA, UNOPS and UN Women over the weekend, Cllr. Verdier said most of the international NGOs working in Liberia believe that they (NGOs) are not accountable to government, saying, once NGOs are entrusted with funds, they are answerable to give account on how they use those funds.
Giving words of encouragement to officials elect of the UN Staff Association, Cllr. Verdier encouraged the leadership to inspire their fellow employees to achieve their goals, saying, sometimes when you inspire for those achievements, you experience success and achievements.
He noted that conscience, professionalism, respect for diversity, responsibility needs to be embraced and must be seen in the quality of leadership elected leaders of the Staff Association will provide.
He said a leader should set the example when diversity is embraced, saying, then all of the different responsibility would be respected.
“You have to be prepared to serve because it is not about a leader being a ruler, but should find a way to address issues affecting those they are leading,” he noted.
The LACC boss said leader must also be accountable, saying the issue of accountability should not only be put on government but other local NGOs including UN system for equality and transparency.
He said as leaders emerging in, they should be fighting to make sure that they make work places a happy area by showing up how problems can be resolved.
He thanked the newly elected officials for the bold steps and challenged them to be there for each other.
Also speaking at the program, UNDP Resident Representative H. E Yacoub El Hillo urged the leadership to work together in addressing the issues of the UN agencies and staffs for the betterment of the association and the country at large.
“I’m glad that the country is now enjoying peace and not at war because peace priceless therefore let’s keep Liberia peaceful and promote democracy,” DSRSG said.
The newly elected President of the association Mr. Eutychinus Kaman Weah, there urged his fellow colleagues to work together in unity for the improvement of the association.
According to him, his top priority is fostering reconciliation for the progress and success for the collective endeavors of the association.
“We will begin this by ensuring that contractors (SC, SSA, or IC) are imbedded in our association as members; we cannot have two separate associations under one United Nations organization umbrella and have such disparities among each other,” Mr. Weah stressed.
He explained that the campaign to update Staff Association contributions will continue in a more dynamic and proficient manner, as the association will be undertaking various fund raising activities.