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Liberia

Accountability and Value for Money Through Open Contracting (LR0034)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Liberia Action Plan 2017-2019

Action Plan Cycle: 2017

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: LACC

Support Institution(s): CUPPADL, TGCI, NIF, CEMESP, Association of Liberian Construction Contractors, the Liberia Chamber of Commerce, Open Contracting Partnership, CAPDOG

Policy Areas

Access to Information, Anti-Corruption, E-Government, Fiscal Openness, Open Contracting and Public Procurement, Open Data, Oversight of Budget/Fiscal Policies, Private Sector, Public Participation, Public Procurement, Publication of Budget/Fiscal Information, Social Accountability

IRM Review

IRM Report: Liberia Implementation Report 2017-2019, Liberia Design Report 2017-2019

Starred: No

Early Results: Did Not Change

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information , Civic Participation , Technology

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

What is the public problem that the commitment will address?: Procurement is the single greatest corruption risk in the public sector. Millions of dollars are lost every year through corrupt contracting and untransparent procurement processes for public contracts, especially related to public infrastructure.; What is the commitment?: The commitment seeks to improve accountability and value for money through open contracting by adopting international standards, opening up information that can be used to judge the accountability of contracting processes and creating a forum to provide oversight of procurement processes.; How will the commitment contribute to solve the public problem?: If Liberia can link data across budgets with contracting this will be a key step in increasing public accountability. Publishing contracts promotes fairer competition, encourages civic oversight and helps governments learn from previous successes and failures.; Why is this commitment relevant to OGP values?: Contract transparency is essential for the responsible management of natural resources and the potential for growth and economic development that those resources can provide. Citizens have a right to know how their government is managing their resources in order to hold government and service providers accountable.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

IRM End of Term Status Summary

8. Improve Accountability and Value for Money through Open Contracting

Language of the commitment as it appears in the action plan:

"The commitment seeks to improve accountability and value for money through open contracting by adopting international standards, opening up information that can be used to judge the accountability of contracting processes and creating a forum to provide oversight of procurement processes.

If Liberia can link data across budgets with contracting this will be a key step in increasing public accountability. Publishing contracts promotes fairer competition, encourages civic oversight and helps governments learn from previous successes and failures."

Milestones:

  1. Adoption of the open contracting data standard, a global open-source tool to enable disclosure of data and documents along the entire contracting process (the planning, tenders, awards, contracts and implementation phases) and application of this standard to identified projects;
  2. Establish administrative directive and guidelines and ethical codes mandating application of the open contracting system for public contracts;
  3. Publish all contracting data on the open data portal by default, which will also be compliant with the open contracting data standard;
  4. Civic education on procurement and contracting processes to support citizens in understanding how these processes happen and their duties to oversee them, through a specific, time-bound sensitization campaign;
  5. Establish open contracting forum comprising of government, civil society and the private sector to ensure sustained engagement, oversight and improved procurement processes. The forum will follow the open government principles of equal participation and co-creation and will be tasked to select a number of projects to monitor using the open contracting data standard and web portal.

Editorial Note: For the complete text of this commitment, please see Liberia's action plan at: https://www.opengovpartnership.org/documents/liberia-action-plan-2017-2019/

IRM Design Report Assessment

IRM Implementation Report Assessment

● Verifiable: Yes

● Relevant: Yes

Access to Information

Civic Participation

● Potential impact: Transformative

Completion: Not Started

Did it Open Government? Did Not Change

This commitment aimed to increase transparency and accountability of government procurement processes through open contracting. The commitment also aimed to adopt the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS) toward the same end. OCDS is a defined common data model that enables disclosure of data and documents at all stages of the contracting process. [85] This commitment sought to address issues of limited civic monitoring and accountability in procurement. Such issues are due to inconsistent access to information, limited whistleblower protections, low capacity for fraud detection in public and private sectors, and the lack of applied conflict-of-interest mandates within the public sector. [86]

At the time of this commitment's formulation, the eProcurement Platform of the Public Procurement and Concessions Commission (PPCC) registered and listed businesses that could compete for public tenders. [87] It also provided information on calls for proposals and approved contracts. Additionally, the 2009 Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (LEITI) Act mandated open contracting in the extractives sector. [88] However, Liberia lacked public oversight mechanisms to ensure accountability in government contracting.

This commitment was not started and thus was not completed at the end of the action plan period.

Implementation was impacted by a change in administration, which led to a shift in policy direction and PPCC leadership. [89] LEITI also experienced leadership-related complications. However, PPCC continued to train government officials in procurement compliance, [90] and it enforced procurement guidelines. [91] As the commitment was not started, it did not change practices in relation to open government.

The PPCC's eProcurement Platform provides basic information, and LEITI, with its management difficulties, [92] struggles to maintain timely and open adherence from participating companies. Also, citizens—including the media and civil society organizations—do not perform proper or timely engagement on this issue. [93] Thus, OGP Liberia anticipates extending this commitment's contents to the next national action plan. The IRM recommends that during the next implementation period, the government drum up high-level political support by communicating the significant amount of government savings in countries with open contracting. [94]

[85] Open Contracting Partnership homepage, https://www.open-contracting.org.
[86] Roberto Martínez Barranco Kukutschka, Liberia: Overview of Public Procurement, number 388 (Bergen, Norway: U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, August 2013), https://www.u4.no/publications/liberia-overview-of-public-procurement.pdf.
[87] PPCC eProcurement Platform homepage, http://vr3.ppcc.gov.lr.
[88] "Liberia EITI 2009 Act," Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, https://eiti.org/document/liberia-eiti-2009-act.
[89] "Liberia: Public Procurement Concession Commission Gets New Executive Director," Front Page Africa, 5 April 2019, https://frontpageafricaonline.com/news/liberia-public-procurement-concession-commission-gets-new-executive-director/; and Olando Zeongar, "Liberia: President Weah Gives Contradictory Accounts over PPCC Executive Director Dorbor Jallah's End of Tenure," Punch Liberia, 5 January 2019, https://www.punchliberia.com/featured-slider/liberia-president-weah-gives-contradictory-accounts-over-ppcc-executive-director-dorbor-jallahs-end-of-tenure-2/.
[90] "Liberia: PPCC Conducts Public Procurement Workshop for Public Officials," Procurement iNET, The World Bank, 27 May 2019, https://www.procurementinet.org/liberia-ppcc-conducts-public-procurement-workshop-for-public-officials/.
[91] Edwin Genoway, "Liberia: PPCC Boss Threatens to Prosecute Govt Officials Who Flout Procurement Law," Front Page Africa, 13 June 2018, https://allafrica.com/stories/201806130755.html.
[92] "Nyenkan Re-shuffled from LEITI to President's Office," Daily Observer, 16 September 2019, https://www.liberianobserver.com/news/nyenkan-re-shuffled-from-leiti-to-presidents-office/.
[93] Independent Reporting Mechanism, Liberia Design Report 2017–2019 (Washington, DC: Open Government Partnership), https://www.opengovpartnership.org/documents/liberia-design-report-2017-2019-for-public-comment/.
[94] For more information, see "Breaking up Vested Interests: Three Steps to Turn Open Contracting Data into Political Change," Open Government Partnership, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/stories/breaking-up-vested-interests-three-steps-to-turn-open-contracting-data-into-political-change/; and "Nigeria Spearheads Open Government in Africa, Takes Steps to Stop US$15.7B of Illicit Flow through Financial Systems," Open Government Partnership, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/news/nigeria-spearheads-open-government-in-africa-takes-steps-to-stop-us15-7b-of-illicit-flow-through-financial-systems/.

Commitments

  1. Extend capacity and transparency of judicial system

    LR0039, 2020, Access to Justice

  2. Create public beneficial ownership register

    LR0037, 2020, Access to Information

  3. Publish budget information online

    LR0038, 2020, Aid

  4. Promote integrity within institutions and schools

    LR0040, 2020, Anti-Corruption

  5. Increase transparency and inclusivity of public contracts

    LR0041, 2020, Access to Information

  6. Train health professionals and open health data

    LR0042, 2020, Access to Information

  7. Make legislative process more transparent and participatory

    LR0043, 2020, E-Government

  8. Enhance compliance and transparency in tax system

    LR0044, 2020, E-Government

  9. Implement transparent SGBV roadmap

    LR0045, 2020, Access to Information

  10. Increase youth engagement in national policy

    LR0046, 2020, Marginalized Communities

  11. Monitor fulfillment of commitments

    LR0047, 2020, E-Government

  12. Publish latest health data

    LR0048, 2020, Access to Information

  13. Legislative Monitoring Database

    LR0027, 2017, E-Government

  14. Publication of Budget Documents

    LR0028, 2017, Anti-Corruption

  15. Freedom of Information (FOI) Act

    LR0029, 2017, Access to Information

  16. Citizen Monitoring for the Justice System

    LR0030, 2017, Access to Justice

  17. Feedback Mechanism to Build Accountability of the LNP

    LR0031, 2017, Access to Information

  18. Capacity Building for Integrity in Government

    LR0032, 2017, Anti-Corruption

  19. Transparency in the Land Authority

    LR0033, 2017, E-Government

  20. Accountability and Value for Money Through Open Contracting

    LR0034, 2017, Access to Information

  21. Beneficial Ownership Registry

    LR0035, 2017, Access to Information

  22. Open Data/Citizen Navigation Portal

    LR0036, 2017, Access to Information

  23. Starred commitment Commercial Land Use Rights Information

    LR0011, 2015, Capacity Building

  24. Open Aid Portal and Publication of Aid Data

    LR0012, 2015, Access to Information

  25. Link Financial Management System to Aid Management Platform

    LR0013, 2015, Aid

  26. Facilitate Tracking of EVD Funds

    LR0014, 2015, Access to Information

  27. Starred commitment Implementation of the New Jury Law

    LR0015, 2015, Public Participation

  28. Citzen Monitoring of Justice System

    LR0016, 2015,

  29. Civic Education and Citizen Engagement Around Offline Tools

    LR0017, 2015,

  30. Know Your Rights' Initiative

    LR0018, 2015, Justice

  31. Passage of Whistleblower Protection Act

    LR0019, 2015,

  32. Transparency Hubs

    LR0020, 2015, Public Participation

  33. Public Service Integrity

    LR0021, 2015, Anti-Corruption

  34. Citizen Feedback Platform.

    LR0022, 2015, E-Government

  35. e-Government

    LR0023, 2015, Capacity Building

  36. Public Expenditure Management Systems

    LR0024, 2015, Capacity Building

  37. Public Safety/ Law Enforecement Reform

    LR0025, 2015, E-Government

  38. Open Data Portal

    LR0026, 2015, Access to Information

  39. Appoint Public Information Officers (PIOs)

    LR0007, 2015, Capacity Building

  40. Popularize Freedom of Information (Foi) Law

    LR0008, 2015, Access to Information

  41. Expand Open Budget Initiative

    LR0009, 2015, Access to Information

  42. Public Information on Land and Natural Resource Reform

    LR0010, 2015, Anti-Corruption

  43. Increase Access to Public Information

    LR0001, 2013, Access to Information

  44. Open Budget Initiative

    LR0002, 2013, E-Government

  45. Extractive Industries Transparency

    LR0003, 2013, Anti-Corruption

  46. Citizens’ Participation and Dialogue

    LR0004, 2013, Public Participation

  47. Starred commitment Accountability and Integrity

    LR0005, 2013, Anti-Corruption

  48. Technology and Innovation

    LR0006, 2013, Access to Information

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