Liberia: President Weah Signs 2 Critical Acts Into Law - - Power Theft and National Remuneration Standardization

Towards promoting equity in public sector management and curbing unwholesome practices that undermine the economic viability of critical national entities, His Excellency President George Manneh Weah has signed into laws two important acts passed recently by the National Legislature.

On October 4, 2019, President Weah signed into law an Act to amend the Penal Law Chapter 15, by adding thereto a new section 15.88 to provide for Power Theft and An Act to Establish the National Remuneration Standardization (NRS) of 2019.

The Second Session of the 54th Legislature recently passed the two Acts before recessing for its Annual Break to be able to return to their respective constituencies.

The Power Theft Act was introduced by the Executive Branch through the office of the President in the wake of increasing theft of electricity through illegal connections, tempering with meters, transmission and distribution lines, as well as theft of assets including light poles, wires and transformers.

Until the passage of the Act, power theft remained the most singular challenge to the operations and maintenance of an effective public utility system in Liberia.

The purpose of this Act is to establish a system of prohibitions and penalties to deal with theft of electricity for which Government intervention and protection is appropriate.

The provisions of the New Section are intended to recognize and treat power theft as a national security threat, define adequately the various conduct that constitute Power Theft, and to prescribe penalties which are proportionate to the seriousness of the offence.

It is to reduce power theft which inevitably will translate into reduced tariff and thus incentivize investment and economic development.

Also, the National Remuneration Standardization Act of 2019 is aimed at ensuring that salaries, allowances and benefits across government are uniformed and equitable for work done, to ensure that the inequality gap in government is narrowed and controlled to the extent that public resources are managed properly and efficiently.

The Standardization Act is to ensure that the Compensation Budget of the Republic is realistic from time to time remain efficiently and economically sustainable so as to ensure that resources are properly targeted to vast majority of the population, and to give Liberia confidence amongst its international partners and the comity of nations.

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