In the first few decades of the young Republic, the territorial influence of government could be extended and felt only a few hundred kilometers in-land from the coast. Interaction with the rural masses was very limited. Therefore, the institution’s responsibility was, to Administer Local Governance which basically involved Collection of Taxes, Maintenance of Peace and Tranquility, and Seeking the Welfare of the People.
As the years passed and Liberia advanced in age, experience and international recognition, so also the scope and demands of Local Administration broadened and necessitated fundamental changes with the times. Thus, the name of the governing entity was changed from the PARISH, first, to DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR (1927), then to MINISTRY OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND URBAN RECONSTRUCTION (1971), and again, to MINISTRY OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS (1982), the present name.
Along with the change of names also evolved the structure of the institution.Under the PARISH, was a single Department of Administration with Divisions and Sections to handle specific duties. Under the INTERIOR DEPARTMENT, special Sections such as Native and Tribal Affairs, and Native Appellate Court, were created to deal with tribal and cultural matters.