US$256m Grant, Domestic Violence Act, Others under Scrutiny on Capitol Hill

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With four days to the official closure of the Extraordinary Session of the 4th Sitting of Legislature, very crucial public hearings are expected to be heard today on three Acts submitted by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

The first is the Act to ratify the program implementation agreement between the Governments of Liberia and the United States through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) in the amount of U$265.7m.

The second is the U$256.7m grant to provide more reliable and affordable electricity and improve routine and periodic road maintenance.

The third, according to Press Director of the House of Representatives, Isaac G. Redd, is a review of the Joint Committee of both Houses on the terms and conditions of the multi-million dollar agreement between the Liberian Government and the United States which was signed on the October 2, 2015 in the US.

He said over the weekend that the Legislature is also expected to review the priorities for the use of the MCC assistance and suggest the legal framework to ensure accountability.

The Chairman on the House Ways, Means and Development Planning, Lofa County Representative Moses Kollie, will serve as the presiding officer, while Senator Edward Dagoseh will be the co-presiding officer.

Each Committee is comprised of 30 members, meaning there will be 15 Representatives and 15 Senators at the Joint hearing.

The Joint Committee will also evaluate the Act to Establish the Millennium Challenge Account.

The MCC Account will manage the administrative, technical and financial operations of the agreement between the two countries.

Liberia qualified for the Compact after it improved performance on its scorecard in 2015.

According to Mr. Redd, the Joint Committee has invited to the hearing Mr. Samuel D. Tweah, Senior Economist – MCC Compact team; Lands, Mines and Energy Minister Patrick Sendolo; Public Works Minister Gyude Moore and the Acting Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Dr. James Kollie.

A representative from the Liberia Chamber of Commerce (LCC) will represent the private sector.

This hearing is expected to be held at 12:00noon.

Meanwhile, in the House First Floor Conference room today, the Joint Committee of the Legislature on Gender and the Judiciary is expected to hold hearings on the Domestic Violence Law, at 2:00pm.

The Committee has invited Cllrs. Koiboi Johnson, Dewey Gray, Sundayway Nelson Amagashi and Neveda Ricks to attend the hearing.

The ratification of the U$256.7m Agreement and creation of the MCC Account and the Domestic Violence Act are among the reasons President Sirleaf asked the Legislature to extend its sitting for six an additional weeks beyond the statutory closure time which will end Thursday, October 15.

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