House Summons BIVAC 

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Margibi County District #2 Representative Ivar Jones

The House of Representatives has summoned the Bureau Veritas, Inspection, Valuation, Assessment and Control (BIVAC) under a contempt charge to respond to issues relating to their operations in Liberia and the 9.67% increment of cargo goods levied by APM Terminals.

The contempt charge comes as a result of BIVAC’s failure on two occasions to appear before the House’s Plenary on Tuesday and Thursday, January 26 and 28 respectively after being invited.

Last Tuesday, the House voted to cancel the 9.67% increment tariff levied by APM Terminals.

The House’s Plenary, through a motion proffered by Margibi County District #2 Representative Ivar Jones, mandated its Chief Clerk to officially communicate its contemptuous charge to BIVAC and also invite the management to appear before the full Plenary of the House of Representatives on Tuesday, February 2, 2021. The management is being advised to come with a lawyer.

The House also instructed Sergeant-at-arms Martin Johnson to serve as courier.

The House’s contempt charge is in accordance with section 4.1 of its standing rules that says: “Contempt of the Legislature shall consist of actions which obstruct the Legislative function or which obstruct or impede members or officers of the Legislature in the discharge of their Legislative duties,” and is punishable by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars (US$5,000.00) and/or imprisonment in a common jail for not more than one month or the duration of the current session of the House; after a hearing consistent with due process of law. Decisions rendered from contempt charges are not appealable.”

This will be the second contempt charge for BIVAC in two years. In 2018, the House invited BIVAC on a contempt charge for failing to adhere to an invitation by the Committee on Commerce and Trade.

On May 24, 2018, the committee on commerce complained BIVAC to the plenary of the House of Representatives, raising issues about their operation in Liberia.

The committee on commerce said after their investigation and hearing from stakeholders including importers, they established that BIVAC International has employed unnecessary bureaucratic bottlenecks causing importers to experience a hard time whilst importing goods into Liberia.

Nimba County District #5 Representative Samuel Kogar, Chairman of the House’s Committee on Commerce, said BIVAC has understated its profits over the years and it was important for them to appear before the House to determine what has been the government’s fair share from 1999 to present, as it relates to such a taxation arrangement. 

As part of the mandate from the plenary of the House ofRepresentatives, they requested that the Government of Liberia places a moratorium on the operations of BIVAC International until the right thing is put into place.

Meanwhile, the House has also voted to remind APM Terminals to bring copies of its audited financial documents from 2011 to 2020 on Monday, February 1.

APM Terminal has also been requested to bring their Articles of Incorporation and list of their partners.

3 COMMENTS

  1. The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Speaker Chambers was one of those who signed that agreement increasing that rate on the backs of Liberia’s struggling citizens in an economic hardship environment.
    Would you like to question him why huge amount of rate almost 10% was passed with his signature on that agreement ?
    What do you want from the company ? Money was made by the lawmakers with 100% of them approving the rate on the backs of the citizens.
    Is this the time to be seen as being politically patriotic and caring, for the sakes of drawing attention to your ?
    This is like the country people who sold their lands to the settlers and benefited greatly. And then they came back and said the deal was unfair to them. And they would like to have their lands back. Or else war will be declared on the settlers.
    The same thing is happening in modern times negotiations and agreements. Both the Senate and House got paid to pass that legislation that was almost 10%. Now the House, not the Senate would like to see that agreement changed. And like their uneducated native parents before them, they are threatening to use the political power of contempt to punish the company.
    They say like parents, like children.
    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha !
    When Speaking Chambers was eating his share of the money, perhaps, which Ellen Johnson Sirleaf got from the company under the table to pay them handsomely to sign the agreement, it was good politics and sweet politics. Now What? Asked Chambers. And stop fooling yourself and your citizens like you are working on their behalf.
    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha !
    What A Representative ? What A Lawmaker ?

    • Furthermore don’t know the name of the other company carrying out the same duties by adding extra fees on import goods, will called that company, the Presidential that belongs to George, no mention of the extra fees and paperworks being generated by that Presidential on Liberia’s citizens going through economic hardship. But a registered company operating under agreements approved by the legislature is the problem ?
      Why not summons that company about its duties. Why not summons LRA to find out where that extra duty fees are being deposited ? While at that, find out if the extra fees being charged have placed an unnecessary burden on the citizens of that country. Can you do that ?
      Thought so.

  2. Mr. James Davis,
    On the issue of the country people selling land to the settlers, your unsubstantiated statement is out of the realm of reality. The real truth of the matter is that the natives (let’s respectfully refer to the country people as natives) didn’t sell their lands. The natives gave their land to some settlers as an act of goodwill. The sad truth is that “some” settlers (not all of them) became intransigent by forceably taking more land in addition to what had been given to them. What I have said is the absolute truth! I witnessed such a nefarious transaction while growing up in the county of Maryland.

    For once, we can agree on just a handful of things. You seem to have alluded to the fact that our current lawmakers sometimes transact when the clouds are darker than smoke. I agree, but there’s no way we can pop open a JD (for Jack Daniels) and laugh! For instance, the signing of concessions by a lawmaker is unheard of in the developed world. Why? Put simply, it’s devious! Also, the building of schools in the counties that are represented by lawmakers is a no brainer. The building of a school is a function of the Executive branch of government!

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