LRA Conducts Weeklong TIWB-CI Training in Bassa To Boost Liberia’s Revenue Protection

BUCHANAN, GRAND BASSA COUNTY – Liberia’s commitment to combat illicit financial flows and strengthen national revenue collection is receiving a significant boost through a weeklong Tax Inspectors Without Borders Criminal Investigation (TIWB-CI) training. The training workshop, currently underway in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, aims to enhance the capacity of financial and tax crimes stakeholders.

The workshop follows the recent launch of the TIWB-CI program at the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) headquarters in Paynesville. It brings together 31 participants from key financial crimes investigating agencies in Liberia, including the LRA, which is hosting the TIWB-CI project in the country.

TIWB-CI is a tailored joint UNDP/OECD technical assistance program designed to strengthen jurisdictions’ tax crime frameworks and improve the resolution of tax crime cases, including providing real-time support for complex investigations.

One of the primary objectives of the workshop is to evaluate the existing skills among national actors regarding tax crimes and criminal investigations in Liberia. Participants are drawn from the Financial Intelligence Agency, Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission, Liberia National Police, Liberia Immigration Service, Liberia Drugs Enforcement Agency, General Auditing Commission, as well as the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning and the LRA.

Adopting a ‘whole of government’ approaches to combat illicit financial flows and fighting tax crimes, each agency’s involvement assumes critical importance in ensuring the program’s success in Liberia.

The workshop is part of Phase 1 of the TIWB-CI program (Gap Analysis and Self-Assessment) and will provide an overview of the landscape for fighting tax crimes, increasing understanding of each agency’s mandate. The other phases – Implementation and – Evaluation and Impact Assessment, will later follow.

Additionally, it will present an overview of the OECD tax crime investigation maturity model’s self-assessment procedures. This tool is designed to identify gaps in Liberia’s frameworks for fighting tax crime and rate the country’s level of maturity based on the 10 global principles of the OECD in fighting tax crime.

The intensive and interactive training is facilitated by TIWB-CI UNDP expert Ms. Olivia Okello, renowned for her expertise in tax crimes investigation and intelligence from the Kenya Revenue Authority. Through interactive sessions and practical exercises, participants will enhance their understanding of tax crime investigation techniques and strategies.

The workshop, scheduled from April 8 to 11, 2024, is the result of the LRA’s expression of interest in self-assessment of needs to the TIWB, through its Fiscal Investigation Division. This initiative is part of Liberia’s strategy to enhance its capacity in the global fight against illicit financial flows and increase domestic resource mobilization.

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