Legislative Com’tees Ineffective?

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The Senate Committee Chairperson on Internal Affairs, Good Governance and Reconciliation, Nimba County Senator Thomas Grupee, says heads of various committees of the Senate are faced with many challenges, including lack of logistical, funding and technical support.
Senator Grupee made the assertion yesterday in Monrovia at a one day Legislative Policy Dialogue held under the theme, “Strengthening Legislative Committee Effectiveness for Transparency and Accountability.”
The dialogue brought together lawmakers and representatives of civil society organizations. It was organized by the Institute for Research and Democratic Development (IREDD).
“Our challenges as committee chairpersons are enormous. Almost all of the 26 committees, which comprise Standing and Statutory Committees, are not working properly because we don’t have the needed logistics,” the Nimba County Senator revealed.
Senator Grupee, who previously served as chairperson for the Nimba County Legislative Caucus, indicated that committee chairs also face serious problems owing to the fact that some them are serving on six to eight committees. “As a result of those engagements, many of us are unable to attend to some of the serious matters when they are brought to the floor.”
“As it stands, given the trust that Liberians have placed in us, we Legislators of the 53rd National Legislature are overworking to leave a legacy that will have historical impact when it is time for us to depart, which we must do gracefully,” he said.
Meanwhile, Senator Grupee has charged fellow lawmakers to hold fast to the purposes for which they were elected including listening to and fighting for the concerns of the people. “We are the closest representation that they have and we must also be the most dogged-advocates of their demands.”
Senator Oscar A. Cooper, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Works and Rural Development, called on his colleagues to work for the people that elected them.
He admitted that the Senate is plagued with challenges and based on that, many of his colleagues rarely attend sessions.
The purpose of the IREDD Legislative Dialogue, according to Harold Aidoo, head of IREDD in Liberia, was to enlighten citizens about the roles and responsibilities of their lawmakers.

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