Beneficial ownership: Liberia

Liberia’s EITI Beneficial Ownership Report found that the government records on the beneficial owners of companies operating in Liberia were not up to date.

The Liberia EITI (LEITI) Beneficial Ownership Report published in December 2015 indicated that the government agencies in charge of overseeing corporate activities do not sufficiently monitor ownership changes in extractive companies. According to the report, the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy, the Forestry Development Authority and the Ministry of Agriculture did not keep full records on beneficial owners of the companies operating in Liberia, even though, in some cases, it is a requirement that this information is collected during the process of awarding contracts and licenses. The report also noted that, in some cases, it is a requirement that the government agency concerned obtain or be notified of changes in ownership. Finally, the report concluded that relevant government agencies either do not publish the information, or there are concerns about the accuracy of the information.

Liberia´s Beneficial Ownership Report recommended that government agencies should review their responsibilities for granting licenses and the regulation and monitoring of their respective sectors, and should put in place systems which enable them to fulfil these responsibilities. The report also recommended that beneficial ownership disclosures should reflect at least three years of historical ownership changes for better coverage and more meaningful impact.

The report was released in December 2015. The government and Liberia’s multi-stakeholder group has not yet had the opportunity to consider how to act on the recommendations from the report.