Liberia: Local Govt Act of 2018 Omits Two Presidential Appointed Positions

The workshop, under the "Liberia Decentralization Support Program," brought together county officials, including superintendents, chiefs, women groups, civil society organizations, and the physical challenged people.

In the recently adopted Local Government Act (LGA) of 2018, the positions of development superintendent and county inspector have now been abolished and, henceforth, will no longer be considered for any future presidential appointment, the Daily Observer has gathered.

According to the newly adopted LGA, the deputy to the superintendent will now be called "county administrative officer" and will act as an officer in charge in the absence of the superintendent.

This means that the position of assistant superintendent for development will no longer be valued as the principal deputy to the county superintendent, as has been the case.

In an acquaintance and awareness workshop, which was hosted by the Governance Commission (GC) and the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) in Ganta recently, the stakeholders from the 15 political subdivisions were informed that the county administrative officer will supervise the county's administration, including human resources, logistics transportation, communications, procurement, maintenance, and utilities including water and telecommunications.

"This person will be a civil servant, and will meet up with certain qualification criteria and take a written test before he/she is appointed. The position will be rotational, where the occupant will be transferred to another county after serving in one county for some time (not specified)," said Olayee Collins, Deputy Internal Affairs Minister for Development Planning.

The next highest position, according to the Act, will be the county finance officer, who will assist the superintendent in the overall management of fiscal matters.

The GC, in collaboration with authorities of the MIA, with funding from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Government of Sweden, conducted the three-day awareness workshop for local government officials on the implementation of the adapted LGA, which President George Weah signed into law in September 2018. The workshop took place from On July 10 through 12, 2019.

But the implementation aspect of the Act is expected to be take place within several years from now, the GC said.

The workshop, under the Liberia Decentralization Support Program, brought together county officials including superintendents, chiefs, women groups, civil society organizations, and the physically challenged people.

Among the positions at the highest county administrative level before the passing of the LGA, the position of county inspector has been removed without any replacement.

However, the "county development officer" position, maintained in the LGA from the old law, will be responsible to implement all the county development projects and programs.

The head of the Governance Commission, Cllr. A. Ndubuisi Nwabudike, said the government through the Commission and the MIA is making efforts to develop a five-year implementation strategy for the operation of the LGA.

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