State-Owned Enterprises

At Liberia’s largest state-owned enterprises (SOEs), GEMAP fielded internationally recruited financial controllers to institute financial management systems and build staff capacity for responsible and efficient financial management.

The GEMAP Financial Controllers were given co-signatory authority on all financial transactions of these SOEs, an outcome of the original GEMAP Agreement signed between the National Transitional Government of Liberia and its international partners in 2005. In August 2008, Government of Liberia officials, international partners, and civil society representatives came together at a retreat to discuss GEMAP progress. The objective was to develop a clear roadmap, an “exit strategy”, based on concrete, measurable milestones and benchmarks. The completion of these benchmarks would flag substantive progress in the institution’s capacity to responsibly manage its finances, and would constitute the basis for the decision for the transfer of co-signatory authority on financial transactions from Internationally Recruited GEMAP Financial Controllers to Liberian counterparts.

Working with counterparts, USAID GEMAP applied a strategy of achieving concrete progress through the documentation, institution, and testing of internal controls, the institution of automated accounting systems, and the building of staff capacity to sustain the systems instituted. By October 2009, co-signatory authority of all GEMAP Financial Controllers had been handed over to their Liberian counterparts, on schedule, and based on the successful completion of the benchmarks outlined in the work plans.