In pursuit of a strategy to promote transparency and accountability in government the Governance Commission (GC) will today conduct a high level assessment roundtable on the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) at a resort in Monrovia.The Anti-Corruption initiative, according to GC, is a prime focus of government as manifested by the establishment and improvement of several institutions and agencies including the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), the General Auditing Commission (GAC), Internal Auditing Agency (IAA) and the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).Corruption, according to the GC, is defined in the Liberian context as bribery, embezzlement and extortion; abuse of office, misapplication of entrusted property by an official of public or private institutions. Other forms of corruption are nepotism, tribalism, offering, soliciting or accepting sexual favors in exchange for the performance or omission of an act associated with entrusted authority.Also illicit enrichment, rigging of elections and the sale of votes are considered acts of corruption.A GC release indicates that the anti-corruption strategy endeavors to ensure a coordinated, consistent, efficient, realistic and sustainable fight against corruption and to promote full participation of all Liberians and other stakeholders in its elimination.GC hopes that the roundtable will assist the relevant authorities to develop a platform to plan, execute and monitor the anti-corruption strategy; design a system for implementation of the strategy, formulate ways to incorporate the national Code of Conduct within the implementation strategy, and sponsor public awareness programs promoting a culture of integrity and ethical behavior in society.The roundtable discussion on Anti-Corruption Strategy is expected to host Vice President and recently petitioned Presidential candidate, Joseph Boakai, who will chair the event.Also expected at the event are Dr. Alpha Simpson, DAH Consulting Inc. and Justice Minister Benedict Sannoh.Governance Commission Chairman, Dr. Amos Sawyer will deliver the opening statement.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
GIPEX 2018 summit…underscores importance to emerging oil and gas sectorsBy Samuel SukhnandanFormer Presidential Adviser on the Environment, Shyam Nokta, speaking at the panel “How can oil and gas support the Model Green State” at GIPEX 2018, indicated that, since 2010, Guyana had started the process towards a green economy through the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), which was supported by the Kingdom of Norway.He emphasised that the model was built on innovation, where, for the first time, forest climate services were monetised and a mechanism for payments was developed and implemented, and this had seen Guyana receiving close to US$200 million as payment for forest climate services.Nokta pointed out that the innovation showed by Guyana and Norway and the lessons learned have been valuable in helping other forest countries which are pursuing reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+), and shaping elements of the Paris Agreement.He indicated that Guyana needed to build on the LCDS and to continue the Norway partnership, even as the country looks forward to an oil and gas industry.Nokta, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Environmental Management Consultants, pointed out that the two concepts are not mutually exclusive, but rather could be mutually supportive.In this regard, he emphasised that the sustainability of a green economy would hinge on a diversified economy and energy mix, and oil and gas revenue can serve as a catalyst.He further emphasised that there is urgent need for the national development framework to be put in place to facilitate this, and he highlighted the critical important of national participation and involvement of all stakeholders.The panel was chaired by former Presidential Adviser Rear Admiral (retd) Gary Best; and included Dr. David Singh, Director of Conservation International Guyana, Ndibi Schwiers, Head of the Department of Environment in the Ministry of the Presidency, and James Ellsmor, CEO of Solar Head of State, a US-based energy company.Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, told the National Assembly last year that the innovative forest conservation for money Norway-Guyana deal is “well and alive”, but will be redirected to a number of different viable projects.Harmon announced that the Kingdom of Norway had agreed to release US$14 million for a sustainable land development and management project. In addition to that, to that, some US$17 million would be released for several Information and Communications Technology (ICT) projects, while funding for the Amerindian Fund and Amerindian Land Titling project is ongoing.According to Harmon, Norway has also extended to December 2021 the Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund (GRIF) Trustee Account that ended in December 2016. He said 285 grants and 120 loans have been approved under the Micro and Small Enterprise Project, as against the previous two-year figures.The release of these funds forms part of the US$80 million which were earmarked for the Amaila Falls Hydro Project. However, the Government has made its intention known that it does not wish to proceed with Amaila. Instead, the funds will now be channelled to a number of different ‘clean energy’ initiatives.The LCDS has been the brainchild of former President Bharrat Jagdeo, who introduced the revolutionary strategy in 2009, the updated version of which was confirmed in 2013.Government recently announced plans to launch the Green State Development Strategy, which is expected to replace the LCDS.