9 June 2017

Liberia: Lawmakers Halt 'All' LEC Contract Negotiations

The lack of coordination among the branches of Government has created setbacks following a move by the House of Representatives to halt all contract negotiations taking place between the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) and private institutions relating to the sub-contracting of electricity transmission operations in leeward counties and other parts of the country.

In a motion tabled in the chamber of the House by Foreign Affairs Committee chair Edwin M. Snowe, the House agreed that the Government should stop negotiating management services agreements with foreign companies until the LEC is investigated on the procurement audit carried out by the General Auditing Commission (GAC) against the Manitoba Hydro International (MHI), which allegedly unearthed serious irregularities that they insist need to be addressed.

The Montserrado County District # 6 lawmaker's motion further said the House will probe the LEC on the recruitment of foreigners instead of Liberians for contract labor works. Furthermore, the House has summoned the Chairman of the Board of Directors of LEC and the Minister of Lands, Mines & Energy to appear on Tuesday, June 13.

Plenary took the decision yesterday following hours of debate into alleged financial malpractices at the LEC, based on a letter submitted to the House last week by Montserrado County District #13 Representative Saah Joseph.

Rep. Joseph's letter accused the LEC, along with its Board of Directors and officials of the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy of acting wrongly in the execution of a contract with the Manitoba Hydro International.

Rep. Joseph demanded to know what has become of the GAC's audit report on the LEC with regards to how US$42 million was expended.

Meanwhile, the plenary of the House also voted to reinforce its insistence that the Minister of Lands, Mines and Energy, who was absent at yesterday's hearing, appear on Tuesday June 13.

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