Judiciary Committee Demands ‘Fix’ in Civil Service Commission Law

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Judiciary Committee Chiarman Grand Kru County District #2 Representative J. Fonati Koffa and members of the Committee alongside with Justice Minister Frank Musa Dean, LRC boss Boakai Kanneh, CSA Director General Laurene Wede Johnson and team

— Public hearing testimonies commence

The Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives has mandated the Director General of the Civil Service Association (CSA), Madam Laurene Wede Johnson, to work together with the Law Reform Commission (LRC) of Liberia and the Ministry of Justice to overhaul (fix) the draft law on the Civil Service Commission (CSC) law from inconsistencies in line with the 1986 Constitution.

Grand Kru County District #2 Representative J. Fonati Koffa, chairman of the House’s Judiciary Committee, in the first day of public hearings on the ‘An Act to Establish the Civil Service Commission (CSC)’, held on Wednesday, August 7, 2019 on Capitol Hill, announced that with testimonies from Cllr. Boakai N. Kanneh of the LRC and Liberia’s Attorney General, Minister of Justice Frank M. Dean, following questions and answers with the CSA Director General and team of Legal Department, headed by Atty. Denise K. Suah, the Judiciary Committee has discovered ‘flaws and inconsistencies in the draft law.

“We request that a revised law of what has been submitted on an Act to Establish the Civil Service Commission (CSC) be done and we mandate the CSA to work along with LRC and the MOJ for that revised function,” Cllr. Koffa said.

“We demand that this revised law include the correction against the inconsistencies and expect a report in two weeks. The Judiciary Committee will ask Plenary for additional time in order to have a good law.”

Besides the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Representatives Beyan Howard, Edward Karfiah, Jimmy Smith and Joseph Somwarbi were part of the public hearing.

According to sources, the Act to Establish the Civil Service Commission (CSC) is inconsistent in the administrative structure, as well as an internal tussle, which should be heard in a Circuit Court before going to the Supreme Court.

Sources further said the title of the law should be definite to include the year and that most of the words and phrases’ meanings, which shall be ascribed in the definition, are missing. Also, the definite role of the President in terms of appointment and the oversight responsibility of the Legislature are ambiguous in the draft law.

It may be recalled  President George M. Weah, in a communication to the House of Representatives pointed out that the establishment of a Civil Service Commission is in adherence of Article 89 of the 1986 Constitution.

“Autonomous Public Commissions: The following Autonomous Public Commissions are hereby established A. Civil Service Commission B. Election Commission C. General Auditing Commission. The Legislature shall enact laws for the governance of these Commissions and create other agencies a may be necessary for the effective operation of government,” the President said in a communication to the House of Representatives.

“The Commission, when established, shall be an independent and autonomous public commission, free in the execution of its objective and mandate, including the supervision and regulation of the full spectrum of the Liberian civil service and the public sector.”

“Specifically, it will regulate the employment and working conditions of public servants, oversee hiring and promotions, enhance employees’ career development and growth, and create fair and equal opportunities for all employees. Additionally, it will promote the Public Service values of honesty, integrity, objectivity and impartially in the work place; and implement standards and methodology  for staff work plan and performance evaluation,” President  Weah wrote.

The President added: “Hon. Speaker, as we continue to reform and restructure our Civil Service for effective and efficient productivity, the enactment into law of this legislation will enable us realize and actualize our pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development. I therefore your kind and timely consideration to enact into law this important legislation.”

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