Concerned Legislative Staff Wants Liberian Legislature 21st Century Compliance

By Abraham Morris-231886294820-abrahammorrisabrahammorris@gmail.com


By Abraham Morris-231886294820-abrahammorrisabrahammorris@gmail.com

A concerned staff of the Legislature, Bobby Addison, is urging the National Legislature to be 21st Century compliant with regards to modernization of that branch of government.

According to him, a blueprint for effective representation, lawmaking and oversight is yet to be fully implemented by the legislature. He noted that nine years ago, members of the Joint Legislative Modernization Plan Committee (JLMC), the editing of the modernization plan for 2009-13 at a special retreat held in the Liberia Agriculture Company (LAC) in Grand Bassa County, from July 11-13, 2008 with assistance from several institutions.

He named the institutions as the Governance Commission, United Nations Mission in Liberia, National Democratic Institute, USAID, UNDP and the World Bank.

While in Grand Bassa County, Addison said the following issues were highlighted: the need to put in place mechanisms to ensure legislative consultation or reporting; professional capacity of staff- both personal and central staffers of the 52nd and 53rd Legislature.

According to him, there are personnel who are poorly trained, lacked adequate equipment, no job description, and that their recruitment is highly politicized at the expense of merit.

Therefore, he indicated there is an urgent need to rationalize and professionalize the strength of legislative staffers without jeopardizing the political standing of the lawmakers and constituencies.

Another issued highlighted by Addison is the abandonment of the legislative library. According to him, since the library was destroyed by fire, there has been no support from the legislature.

He said before the library was destroyed by fire, all the offices were equipped with computers and internet that was being sponsored by USAID through the National Democratic Institute; something he noted enabled staffers and lawmakers to conduct daily research.

The concerned Legislative staff further pointed out that another grave issue of concern captured in the modernization plan was the issue of transportation.

According to him, the increase in the number of lawmakers led to the corresponding increase in the number of staffers at the Capitol.

“We are therefore appealing to members of the 53rd Legislature to kindly purchase additional four new buses to enable us commute to and fro. Presently the three buses that are helping staff to get to work are not road worthy as they have spent more than ten years. We are therefore appealing to all those who crafted this document to please do their best to have this modernization plan implemented,” he noted.