The Informer (Monrovia)

31 January 2013

Liberia: Ellen Lines Up Over 20 Bills for Legislative Enactment - Reminds Lawmakers of Unfinished Work

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Monday Told the National Legislature that she will submit at least 20 bills during their second session for passage into law, after thanking them for acting on some of those she sent during the first session.

She reminded that that there were still several others that they need to act on including the most delayed code of conduct for public officials.

"I thank you for the good work done during the First Session of this 53rd Legislature. Several pieces of legislation were passed by you and signed into law by us; [however], there are still a few critical Bills awaiting enactment.

She named them as the Decent Work Bill; The Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Bill of 2012; The Bill Establishing the Financial Intelligence Unit of Liberia; The Amendment to Chapter 17 of the Liberian Code of Laws Revised, New Judiciary Law, Chapter 4, Relating to the Jurisdiction of the Debt Court and Related Matters; The Bill to Ratify the Loan Agreement for the Smallholder Agricultural Productivity Enhancement and Commercialization Project with the African Development Bank; The Bill to Establish the Liberia Rural and Renewable Energy Agency and the Rural Energy Fund; The Bill to Amend the Aliens and Nationality Law regarding Permits of Residence, among few others.

The President then read out the list of the new bills she intends to submit during the Second Session: A Bill Creating a Special Economic Zone; A Bill to Merge the Ministries of Planning and Finance to create the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning; A Bill Establishing the Liberia Revenue Authority, disaggregating the Revenue Division of the Ministry of Finance to establish a new autonomous Revenue Authority; The Gender Equity Bill; The National Pension Bill; and A Bill to Ratify the Treaty on the West African Power Pool that expands electricity to all four Mano River countries.

She named others as a Bill to Ratify the United Nations Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography; A Bill to Ratify the Charter of the Africa Finance Corporation, an international organization; A Bill to Ratify the Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoptions; several Bills for the dissolution and liquidation of un-necessary moribund public agencies that were created by law but have either become redundant or unnecessary within our current reform framework; A Bill outlining procedures for the exercise of the constitutional authority for Expropriation; A Bill to separate the land function from the Ministry of Lands, Mines, and Energy to establish an agency with a focus on land matters; An Anti-Drug Bill; a new Police Bill; A Bill to Establish within the Ministry of Justice a Bureau for Child Justice; Bills to reconstitute the statutory Boards of several government-owned corporations beginning with the Forestry Development Authority.

"Additionally," she noted, "I intend to submit for your consideration and action: A Bill to Revise the 1972 Act that created the John F. Kennedy Medical Center to respond to international best practices and development in the healthcare delivery system; A Bill to Revise the Charter of the University of Liberia; A Bill to Establish a National Tourism Authority; A Bill to Establish a Special Fast-Track Court to handle Corruption Cases, but which will have non-exclusive jurisdiction over such cases; A Bill to Establish the Rubber Development Fund, which provides the means to develop and modernize the Liberian rubber sector; and A Bill to Create the National Wildlife Conservation and Protected Area Management Law of Liberia."

President Sirleaf said pursuant to government's policy of good and decentralized government, "I intend to submit, to your honorable body, a Bill to Repeal the Local Governance Law, Title 20, of the Liberian Code of Laws Revised, to establish a New Title 20 to be known as the Local Governance Law of Liberia 2013."

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