Laws regulating the tenure of service for commissioners at the Liberia Telecommunication Authority (LTA) are currently under scrutiny at the Legislature with Fredrich Norkeh, Minister of Post and Telecommunication disclosing that he has not seen or read the law under review.
"I have not seen or read it so I cannot make any comment on it," Min. Norkeh told lawmakers when they requested him to comment on the matter.
The new law, if passed, would set a new term of service for commissioners of the LTA who would be appointed by the President to steer the affairs of the telecommunication regulating agency. President Sirleaf would soon appoint a new set of commissioners or retain the current commissioners as their tenure elapses later this year. But authorities at the telecommunication regulator say that the current existing laws on the books of the LTA have some flaws that must be corrected for an effective operation of the agency.
At the hearing which attracted the House and Senate's Post and Telecom committees including those committees on Public Autonomous agencies, Angelique Weeks, LTA Chair told lawmakers that although they did not submit the current law for review, it would be important for these flaws to be corrected before the President can appoint the next set of commissioners for the agency.
"It's time now for the President to nominate new set of commissioners either for another term. Recognizing this deficiency or flaw in the law as drafted I believe it makes sense for the President to try to change that before nominating new commissioners or re-nominating any or all of the same commissioners at the authority," Madam Weeks explained. The commissioners named section 9.1 which provides for the President to appoint a commission consisting of five commissioners, with the chief executive officer's power vested in the chairperson who shall oversee the operations of the LTA in consultation with the other commissioners, as some of those laws that should be amended.
"We are proposing for the section to be changed and written as the President shall appoint a commission consisting of five commissioners ... ," she said.
She also emphasized that it would be important for a higher and different tenure of service to be stipulated for each of the commissioners in order to enhance continuity and an efficient service delivery in the sector.
Sen. John Ballout, Senate Chair on Post and Telecommunication committee and Rep. Numene Bartekwa, House Chair on Post and Telecommunication following the presentations of the LTA commissioners on the issue, noted their suggestions for onward presentation of their reports to their respective chambers at the Legislature.
The two Houses would now act on their reports before leaving for their 'agriculture break' or wait after resumption next year.