Legislative Monitoring Database (LR0027)
Action Plan: Liberia Action Plan 2017-2019
Action Plan Cycle: 2017
Lead Institution: Governance Commission
Support Institution(s): Governance Commission, LACC, LRC, and MOFA. CAPDOG, CENTAL, CUPPADL, CEMESP, IREDD, LMC, iLab Liberia.
Policy AreasDemocratizing Decision-Making, Fiscal Openness, Public Participation, Publication of Budget/Fiscal Information, Regulatory Governance
What is the public problem that the commitment will address?: The public in Liberia has very little knowledge of where critical bills and laws are in terms of approval within the legislative process. This prevents them from monitoring these bills and advocating for their passage at the relevant moments. Understanding where critical bills and laws (such as the Whistleblower and Witness Protection Acts, Decent Work Bill and Local Government Act) are being held up within the legislative process can help us to understand where and when pressure should be applied to support the completion of the process and ensure the rights of citizens.; What is the commitment?: This commitment will create a database to track laws and bills within the legislature; and provide regular reports on the status of these laws and bills matched with roundtables to allow for discussion.; How will the commitment contribute to solve the public problem?: This effort to open up the legislative process will provide citizens with information they need to understand how bills and law are progressing. It will create space for public hearings and citizen comments on draft legislation, and the basis for relevant advocacy campaigns.; Why is this commitment relevant to OGP values?: The commitment will provide an opportunity for citizens and civil society organizations to track, support and organize around the legislative processes. It will open up parliament to public scrutiny and public participation.
IRM Midterm Status Summary
IRM End of Term Status Summary
1. Develop a Legislative Monitoring Database
Language of the commitment as it appears in the action plan:
"This commitment will create a database to track laws and bills within the legislature; and provide regular reports on the status of these laws and bills matched with roundtables to allow for discussion."
- Track status of bills in the House of Representatives and Senate through ongoing monitoring;
- Provide analysis on the progress of bills, the sponsor of each bill and who has voted for each bill;
- Publish ongoing results and analysis in quarterly reports and online through a searchable database;
- Work with relevant groups inside and outside government through round-tables to push for the passage of critical bills when needed
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
● Potential impact: Minor
● Completion: Not Started
● Did it Open Government? Did Not Change
This commitment aimed to develop a database to track and monitor the progress of laws and bills in the legislature, provide quarterly reports on the status of these laws and bills, and conduct roundtables for civic discussion. It sought to address the opaque nature of the legislative process, and citizens' belief that legislators do not fulfill their mandate and that they do not work in Liberians' best interest.  At the time of this commitment's formulation, the Institute for Research and Democratic Development (IREDD), a civil society organization, independently compiled reports tracking the legislature's and individual legislators' activities.  The Liberia Legal Information Institute managed free online access to national legal information,  and Liberians usually voiced opinions on pending legislation through civic protest. 
This commitment was not started by the end of the action plan period. The primary factor that contributed to the lack of implementation was inadequate support and buy-in for implementation from the legislature.  The legislature was not involved in the formulation of this commitment, and engagement to gain its support began only during the implementation period. As the commitment was not started, there was no change in government practice at the end of the implementation period. A lack of action by the legislature inhibited several commitments in this action plan. Therefore, the IRM recommends that the OGP Secretariat and partners conduct outreach to sensitize members of the legislature to OGP processes and the value of open government reforms. Partnering with reform-minded allies within the legislature will likely assist the implementation of future commitments.
Meanwhile, IREDD continued its independent work issuing reports and statements on legislative voting and conduct based on data compiled by monitors assigned at the House of Representatives and the Senate. IREDD also manages Liberian Lawmakers Watch,  a searchable, database-driven website that expanded access to reported information. In addition, the media brought attention to legislators' refusal to use electronic voting machines provided by the National Democratic Institute in 2010. These machines would have facilitated the recording and tracking of legislative activity. However, the media reported that not all legislators used the machines or used them consistently,  and reports noted that the machines no longer work.