Deputy Information Minister Andrew Tehmeh
Limited Financial Support ‘Huge Challenge’ To OGP - Tehmeh
By Robert Dixon
MONROVIA, September 24 (LINA) - Deputy Information Minister Andrew Tehmeh has said limited financial support remains a huge challenge for the implementation of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) commitments.
He also cited limited awareness about the OGP not only among the general citizenry but also senior-level policy makers.
The OGP is a multilateral initiative that aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance.
In the spirit of multi-stakeholder collaboration, OGP is overseen by a Steering Committee, including representatives of governments and civil society organizations.
Liberia joined the OGP on September 20, 2011.
Tehmeh, who is also Senior Policy Coordinator of OGP in Liberia, made the statement in a speech at an OGP meeting convening in the United States, a copy of which reached the Liberia News Agency Friday.
He also noted that the lack of an institutionalized structure for the OGP in Liberia is impeding the smooth operation of the program.
He then recommended the establishment of a fully-staffed OGP Implementation Support Unit (ISU) with two years transitional funding from donors and multi-donor trust fund (MDTF).
Minister Telmeh also called for technical assistance for capacity building both at the individual and institutional levels (peer exchange learning programs and institutional capacity support).
He also emphasized the need for the creation of a permanent institutional structure for the OGP within the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism for robust awareness across the country targeting senior level policy makers and the public at large.
Tehmeh said since Liberia joined the OGP, it has co-created its first and second National Action Plans (NAPs), implemented the first and currently implementing the second.
He said prior to the coming of the OGP, Liberia had instituted several measures to enhance transparency and openness in government.
He cited the creation of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission, General Auditing Commission, Public Procurement and Concessions Commission and Internal Audit Agency as few of the legal instruments instituted by the current government.