-But will legislature be included?
The President Pro Tempore of the Senate, Albert Tugbe Chie, has disclosed plans by the Senate to request the General Auditing Commission (GAC) to conduct audits of the various government agencies of the year 2018, to endeavor to do that yearly and on time as well as report to the legislature as required by law.
However, Senator Chie was short of saying whether that august body, which is the first branch of the government, will be included in that audit for the first time in recent years.
But speaking in the conference room of the newly constructed Senate Annex on Monday, January 14, Chie said that such audits will confirm the existence of internal controls and will ensure that “our various agencies perform well in accordance with their statutory mandates and remain accountable to the people.”
In reflection, Sen. Chie said, of the several bills and other instruments brought forward from the 53rd Legislature and others received during the course of last year, Senate passed 34 bills while 83 bills from both the 53rd and First Session of the 54th Legislature are under consideration by the Senate.
Among the bills passed are the Land Rights Act and the Local Government Act, which is intended to decentralize governance and revisit the local administrative structure in order to make it efficient and responsive to the true aspirations of local dwellers.
On the alleged missing billions of Liberian dollars and US$25 million, Pro Tempore Chie said the Senate conducted hearings during their extraordinary sessions and, because most of the information could not be verified by the Senate within that short period, the Senate decided to suspend its hearing into the matter temporarily and will await the report of the Presidential Investigating Committee, which has been dealing with the matter in detail, before further action of the Senate.
“Now that the USAID-hired investigators have come and gone and their reports are also expected, the Senate will wait for these reports before further consideration will be made,” Chie said.
Senator Chie spoke of a cordial relationship with both the Executive and Judiciary branches of the government.
He said that the Senate has bills and other instruments which it will consider in the early part of this Second Session, among them an Act Prohibiting the Tenure of officials within the Executive Branch of the government; the Kamara Abdullah Kamara Act of Press Freedom; proposals from the Constitutional Review Committee on Amendments to the 1986 Constitution of Liberia; the Revised Charter of the University of Liberia; an Act to establish a fund to finance the provisions of free health care for the elderly; review of the Senate Standing Rules, an Act to name certain roads and bridges in the country; Impeachment trial of Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh; proposal to amend Article 83 of the Constitution of Liberia; consideration of some concession agreements, consolidation of some holidays in the fostering of the economy, and other instruments.
Pro Tempore Chie concluded by urging citizens to exercise patience “and give our young government chance to fully revive the economy, to continue improve infrastructure, create more private sector jobs and restore basic services throughout the country.”