The New Dawn (Monrovia)

4 July 2014

Liberia: GC Monitors Lawmakers

The Governance Commission in collaboration with OSIWA has put together a monitoring and reporting mechanism under Legislative monitoring initiative titled: Legislative Monitoring for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (LEMTAIL). The GC says LEMTAIL's ultimate goal is to provide the public with information on the workings of the Legislature and legislators to encourage them to be transparent and accountable to the people.

In its May report on the Legislature, LEMTAIL lifted as high priority, electronic voting system and committee meetings as cardinal areas facing major challenge on Capitol Hill. The report, which covers nine thematic areas take the workings of the Legislature to their constituents in areas of governance, administration, finance, local government, and labor among others.

The report highlighted Lawmakers' debates on issues and legislative actions intended to address them. It also captured the Lawmakers' failure to use the electronic voting system in their respective Chambers to vote on bills, Loan Agreement, ratification of Concession Agreements, among others.

The rule and procedure of the Legislature provide that the first branch of Government cooperates with the Executive, particularly when the President visits either Chambers at the Capitol or on case bordering on security, but on the contrary, the report shows that in May, the House of Representatives met nine times and went to Executive or closed door meetings three times while the Liberian Senate met nine times and held Executive meetings twice.

LEMTAIL's research at the House of Representatives shows that out of the five committees monitored during the period, only two were recorded, while the Liberian Senate had no record on committee meetings held.

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