Agreement on Data Sharing in Liberia to Increase Transparency

Monrovia, Liberia

Maria Lanza Knudsen

In partnership with the GIZ Regional Resource Governance programme and the Government of Australia, the Revenue Development Foundation (RDF) have support to the Liberian government since 2012, focussing on improvement in the management of mining licenses. In June, the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy (MLME), the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) and the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) signed an inter-governmental data sharing agreement, which will be the basis for RDF data integration support, aiming to improve compliance in the mining sector.

The agreement opens up for the government departments to share all information related to companies operating in the mining sector without the need to request permission from higher authority. As part of the data sharing initiative, RDF is implementing integration tools to allow a single view of all government revenue earned from each entity in the mining sector.

Information that will now be shared includes that on revenues from the mining sector, on beneficial owners (including, shares, contact information), mining agreements, tax agreements and exemptions, invoices (billing), production reports, payment receipts, payment reports and cashbooks. The agreement covers all revenue data associated with the mining sector from 2012 and onwards, including domestic and international taxes and non-tax payments.

RDF has helped the government establish a Mining Revenue Task Force as a coordination body to oversee the implementation of the agreement.

The benefits of data sharing includes increased transparency, accountability and, as a result, investment and revenue, in the mining sector. It will also directly support the Liberian government’s efforts in reaching Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) compliance.