In the wake of ongoing corruption allegations and investigations over the awarding of contracts to foreign investors, a Liberian government ministerial committee has called for a re-bidding process on the country’s Western Cluster Iron Ore Deposits Project.
The government has also moved to disqualify two companies – Delta Mining Consolidated and Tata Steel – from participating in the re-bidding process. This comes as President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is set to address the nation Monday on a number of issues, including allegations of corruption in her government.
Lawrence Bropleh is Liberia’s minister of information. He told VOA the government wants to put an end to foreign companies bribing Liberians to get contracts.
“What we have decided as a government is we have discovered that we believe there has been some outside influences, external influences that bordered around impropriety and that the whole bidding process may have been compromised. So what the cabinet has decided to do is mandate the Inter-Ministerial Concession Committee and the Minister of Lands and Mines and Energy to undertake a re-bidding, and this re-bidding must be done with utmost transparency, fairness, and accountability,” he said.
Bropleh said any bidder found to have been involved in any acts violation of the bidding process would be disqualified from participating in the new bidding process.
He also said the Liberian government has disqualified two companies - Delta Mining Consolidated and Tata Steel – from participating in the re-bidding process.
“We as a government, because of the acts attributed to Delta Mining Consolidated and Tata Steel, these two companies are disqualified from participating in re-bidding,” Bropleh said.
The action against Delta Mining Consolidated and Tata Steel comes as a corruption commission has been set up to investigate allegations sokme officials in President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s government have received bribes from an American who heads the Liberian International Ship Corporate Registry (LISCR) in order to get a renewal of the contract without competitive bidding.
Bropleh said President Sirleaf will address the media Monday on a number of issues, including allegations of corruption in her government.
“This morning, the president will be meeting the press and addressing the public, looking at various issues. She will say something about the emails scandals that we’ve talked about on this medium; she will talk about the Anti-Corruption Commission, the bill that is now before the legislature looking at raising the population representation to 45,000 per legislative district. She will talk about the western cluster iron ore deposit and where we are in the rebuilding process. She will address the nation on various issues that affect the lives of our people,” he said.
Bropleh said former elections commission chair Frances Johnson-Morris whose nomination to head the newly appointed Anti-Corruption Commission had come under criticism from opposition and civil society groups was confirmed by the Liberian Senate.