Office of the Deputy Managing Director for Operations

This office controls the five technical departments below:

  • Legality Verification
  • Commercial Forestry
  • Community Forestry
  • Forest Conservation
  • Research and Development

THE LEGALITY VERIFICATION DEPARTMENT (LVD)

• What is the LVD
The Legality Verification Department, LVD for short, is new Department within the Forestry Development Authority through a board resolution.
• Brief History of the LVD:
The Legality Verification Department was established as the result of the signing of Voluntary Partnership Agreement between the Government of Liberia and the European Union in 2012 and subsequently rectified by the honorable Legislators in 2013.  The VPA called for the creation of two new departments within the Forestry Development Authority of which LVD is the first;
• SGS & LVD:
SGS, a service provider hired by the Government of Liberia to provide services in the forest sector, was also contracted in October 2013 on a “ build, operate and transfer” (BOT) basis to develop the necessary verification methodology and build the capacity of the LVD within an agreed five – year project period. This contract is co-funded by UKAID and by the European Union. The project is tasked with establishment of the LVD and commence in October 2013.

Currently, the COCS functions are still being managed separately under the LiberFor programme but is be transitioned under this new separate Service Agreement and progressively transferred back to the FDA/LVD before the end of contract period.

•Training
A. Quality Management System (QMS): Quality Assurance is a key process to ensure the LVD credibility at the  international level. The SGS Short-Term Quality Expert (Olayinka Bamgbose) is providing assistance to the LVD Quality Manager and the CB Team Leader to install the system in LVD.

The training delivered up to date are:
1.LVD Counterparts trained on 1st  Quality Awareness in May, 2014
2.LVD Quality Manager has been receiving on-the-job training by remote mentoring since May, 2014
3.LVD Quality Manager attended a Certificate Course in ISO 9001 at SGS Academy in Ghana- July, 2015

B.    IT training on the use of the LiberTrace is delivered by the SGS permanent IT
Experts (Mlen-Too Wesley and David Colliee):
1. FDA users and companies users participated in the Trial runs  from July, 2014, to March, 2015
2. Selected users – including LVD, FDA and SGS staffs – participated in the Initial-UAT in June, 2015
3. Pilot users are currently participating in the field tests that are on-going from  July, 2015 to November, 2015
4. knowledge in IT On-going since 2014

C.    Training on Timber species identification, grading and scaling as per ATIBT rules is provided by the ATIBT Trainer, Mr. Richard Fays.
1. FDA, LVD, SGS, and Forestry Training Institute (FTI) staffs received a 1st training in June, 2014
2. LVD, SGS, FTI, and private timber companies have receive a 2nd training that ran from Sept/Oct., 2015

D. Training on LV procedures is provided by the Legality Expert (Dr. Michal Brink).
1. FDA, LVD and SGS staffs were trained on Field Testing of Check List in April-May, 2014
2. FDA, LVD and SGS staffs were trained on LAS Audit Procedures & Legality  Verification Check List in August, 2015
3. Training of LVD LV Auditors October, 2015

E. Guidelines for auditing management systems: ISO 19011:2011 training is provided by the Legality Expert. This training provides guidance on auditing management systems, including the principles of auditing, managing an audit programme and conducting management system audits, as well as guidance on the evaluation of competence of individuals involved in the audit process, including the person managing the audit programme, auditors and audit teams.
1. FDA, LVD and SGS staffs received a training on Audit Systems Procedures (ISO 19011) in April, 2014

F.    Training on COC operations & procedures
1. Ongoing training delivered to the 4 laterally transferred COC staffs under the on-going Liberfor project since April, 2014
2. Training on the revised COC procedures will be provided by the LAS Team Leader after the review of the COC SOPs to align it with LiberTrace has been completed in November, 2015.

G. Liberian forest-related regulations and Liberia VPA requirements: The LVD staff should acquire a solid base knowledge of Liberian forest regulations and VPA that have a direct impact on their day-to-day job and practices. Dr Michal Brink and Re-Al Myers are providing these training to LVD staffs (FDA and LVD), and private companies
1. FDA and SGS staffs received Legislation and VPA Training in December, 2013 and July, 2015

H. Integrity: Integrity training is mandatory for all LVD staff. The objective is to promote an ethical workplace environment and to ensure that the Code forms an integral part of the employee’s work contract.
1.  Training planned twice in Y1 and then once a year thereafter.
2. So far training conducted only for 2 key counterparts that remained at post as at April, 2015. New session with existing LVD and “attached” FDA staff was done on 8 October 2015.

•Function of the Department:
The Legality Verification Department has two main functions
A. Maintenance of a database (LiberTrace); LiberTrace will contain two distinct sets of data:
a. Traceability (COCS) data – reconciliation of data generated along process chain of wood products & related field inspections (export and the domestic market)

b. Legality Verification documents/data  – compliance of timber consignments with the Legality Definition & related field inspections coordination with role-playing MACs to supply required documentation described in the Legality Matrix

B.Auditor of the Implementation of LAS by auditing
a. Role-Playing FDA departments/divisions and MACs
b. Forest Management Contract & Permit holders and timber processors
c. LiberTrace (database as above

• STRUCTURES OF THE DEPARTMENT: The department has four divisions, namely Database Information System division, Operation Management Division and Quality Management System Division.

• Field Operation Division(FOD:
This division will undertake Chain – of – Custody and Legality Verification field inspections

• Database Information System Division:
The division will undertake chain – of – custody reconciliation and the checking of the Legality Assurance System execution role – players with the legality definition using the LVD’s database (LiberTrace). In addition, there will be a Helpdesk within the division to   support the Liber-Trace web – application.

• Legality Audit Division(LAD):
It is responsible for audit of the Legality Assurance System implementation processes as well as the compliance of the Legality Assurance System by other relevant FDA Department and Ministries and Agencies(Role – Players) in addition to the private timber companies;

• Quality Management Division:
This division is charged to develop and implement a quality management system to ensure the delivery of quality services by the LVD in conformity with ISO 9001 in connection with: record keeping; internal & external communication; complaint management; interaction with VPA stakeholders and internal monitoring of LVD’s operations.

• Staff of the Department:
At present, there are 13 staff members of the department; they include, a Technical Manager, three Managers, four COC Inspectors, three Data Analysts and two LV Auditors; additional 14 staff are being processed for employment after successfully being short listed and passing an interview. There is budgetary constraint that is impeding the recruitment process of the LVD. Before the end of 2017, the LVD should be staffed with 70 persons.

• Guiding Procedures:
There are several Guiding procedures that have been developed by the system builders that will direct the course of actions to be performed by the LVD; these guiding procedures are: Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), Supporting Documents & Work Instructions. Most of these SOPs are still in their draft forms.

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