House Twists Self-appointed Taskforce’s Mandate

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The House’s leadership, comprising a 14-member Committee, has released the terms of reference (TOR) for the seven-man Special Investigative Committee, regarding the Global Witness damning report detailing allegations of bribery, to amend the Public Procurement and Concession Commission (PPCC) law in favor of Sable Mining Company for one of Liberia’s most coveted iron ore assets.

After a leadership meeting on Monday, the Special Committee said it will probe the ‘2010 amended and restated public procurement concession commission act.”

According to a statement issued by Chief Clerk, Mildred Sayon, the committee will establish through legislative formalities whether or not, standing procedures were followed leading to the restated PPCC Law as proposed by the Executive in 2010.

The Committee would also investigate “to establish whether the origin of the amendments and subsequent adjustments passed as the PPCC Law is concerned; to establish what portion of the PPCC Law as approved by the Legislature were printed into Hand Bills by the Executive.”

The Committee would also probe “to establish whether or not there exists additional instruments associated with the awarding of concessions outside of the PPCC and Mining Laws, and to establish whether other laws passed by the Legislature have been altered at the point of printing into Hand Bills.”

The statement said, “The Committee has begun the collection of resource documents, and will shortly commence series of Legislative formalities and public engagements.”

Members of the Committee are Maryland County District #1 Representative James P. Biney, Chairman of the House’s Special Investigative Committee. He is also the Chairman on the House’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, and former Chairman on the Public Accounts and Expenditure Committee.

Other members include Bong County District # 4 Representative Lester M. Paye, Chairman on Committee of Youth and Sports; Nimba County District # 9 Representative, R. Matenokay Tingban, Chairman on Resettlement, Repatriation, Relief and Re-adjustment; Lofa County District# 4
Representative, Mariamu B. Fofana, Co-Chair on Rules, Order and Administration; and River Gee County District #2 Representative, Christian S. Chea Sr., Chairman on Labor.

The remaining members are Maryland County District #2 Representative, Dr. Bhofal Chambers, Chairman on National Defense; and Montserrado County District #16 Representative Dr. Edward S. Forh, Chairman of Public Works and Rural Development.

In the corridors of Capitol Hill, reporters gathered that most of the Acts enacted into law from 2006 to present have not been printed into handbills, and are therefore subject to change as may possibly be the case in the amended 2010 PPCC Law.

Meanwhile, the Committee would not investigate former and current members of the Legislature as was previously announced by the Senate President Pro Tempore, Armah Jallah.

Unconfirmed reports said the Senate has failed to name its Committee to form part of the Joint special investigative committee owing to the “current court proceedings.”

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