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It seems that time has caught up with some top government officials still dragging their feet to declare their assets, prompting President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf to threaten punitive measures not excluding dismissal for defaulters since enough is enough.
The President had earlier affirmed assets declaration by cabinet ministers and other government officials as the benchmark for accountability in her second-term administration.
Meanwhile, controversy has already erupted between the government and its parastatals with the Liberia Anti Corruption Commission (LACC) refusing to release assets declaration documents in keeping with the Freedom of Information Act.
The LACC has refused to make available assets declaration statements, arguing that they contain personal records and the Ministry of Information Culture and Tourism has spoken to the contrary that the records are private.
Addressing journalists Thursday, Presidential Press Secretary Jerolinmek Piah said: “Let it be noted that the president is very serious.”
He added: “ She is now contemplating on serious punitive measures that will range from withholding pay checks, suspension, and probably dismissal for those who willl not co-operate.”
The president is on record of saying that only 64 of 239 government officials have declared their assets.
“The assets declaration process is not [going] as well as we expect,” the President once said, adding: “My government is not deterred by that, but would remain committed to ensuring that assets for my offocials are declared.”
It was officially revealed that authorities at the LACC have already been instructed to send out reminder letters to those still wasting time to declare their assets.
Asserts declared by officials are scrutinized by both the LACC and General Auditing Commission (GAC).