Liberian Senate Strengthens Guidelines For Confirmation Hearing
Monrovia – As President George Weah begins the nomination of individuals to key positions of trust in his new Cabinet in keeping with Article 54 A of the Liberian Constitution, the Senate has seen the need to review its rules governing confirmation.
Report by Henry Karmo – [email protected]
Article 54 A of the constitution states: “The President shall nominate and, with the consent of the Senate appoint and commission government officials.”
The Senate, through various committees, will shortly begin the confirmation proceedings of government officials as soon as the list of nominees is submitted to the Senate.
In pursuance of its constitutional mandate, the Senate in its second sitting of the first session of the 54th Legislature on Thursday, January 18, approved guidelines to guide the process.
In the revised guidelines the Senate announced that all costs associated with confirmation process shall be borne by them and warned against offers or attempts to offer gift(s) to committee member will automatically disqualify said nominee.
The Senate has also warned that testimonies given by a nominee should be factual as misstatement or falsification of the truth shall be deemed perjury and prosecutable under the laws of Liberia.
“The confirmation process consists of several parts to include background checks of nominees, be it credential, experience, performance in previous areas of works, behavior in community and or society and etc.., accordingly, the Senate is requesting the public to send in any pertinent information of any nominee to the Office of the Secretary of the Senate for onward submission to the vetting committee prior to the confirmation of that nominee.”
Part of the guidelines includes the prohibition of confirmation hearings for public hearings for all officials to the rank of statutory districts Superintendents.
Other methods of vetting shall be applied to nominees below the rank of statutory districts superintendents.
In the Senate’s revised rules and consistent with the Constitution, Senators have promised that only Liberian citizens will be confirmed.
“Any Testimony given by a nominee should be factual and the truth; misstatement or falsification of the truth shall be deemed perjury and prosecutable under the laws of Liberia.”
President George Manneh Weah’s late Monday (January 22) evening following his inauguration as Liberia’s 24th President, began to choose members of his Cabinet, some of which are subject to confirmation by the Senate.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister-designate Gbezhongar Milton Findley is expected to face the Senate’s Foreign Affairs Committee for confirmation.
Mr. Findley had once served the Senate as its Pro-Tempore before his defeat to Senator Jonathan Kaipay in the 2014 Special Senatorial election.
Mr. Findley also served previously as Chairman of Post & Telecommunications, Co-Chairman of Public Autonomous Commissions and Member of the Agriculture, Fisheries & Forestry, Labor, Rules, Order & Administration and Executive Committees in the Senate.
His preferment, this newspaper has gathered, does not meet the full approval of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and that it is widely believed that former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf influenced his appointment.