Liberia: Speaking to the Conscience of the 54th Legislature
Dear Honorable Members of the 54th Legislature:
I wish to commend you for work executed during this Second Session of the 54th Legislature. Thanks for great job as we wish you all the best during your annual break and may God Almighty grant each and all of you His uncommon favor and blessing of life to return and continue with the people’s business.
Senator Abraham Darius Dillon’s 15k+ Aggregate Earning Disclosure” has become a national debate. So, as research and information arm of the Legislature, we thought to respectfully weigh in. It is a 7-page critical note. Basically, it speaks to the fact that as we have “officially” heard from a lawmaker what he earns be it gross or net in accumulation, and reflecting what technicians and senior staffers of the Legislature receive in comparison to our colleagues from the Executive, we deem it but expedient to contribute.
Research conducted by the LIS and categorized as authoritative information shows that in the last thirteen (13) budget years (2006-2019), the Liberian Legislature received 407,365.090 Million United States Dollars or 407.3m, which is a distance from nearly half a billion United States Dollars. One wonders how much of this gigantic mouth-watering-dripping amount went towards truly professionalizing the Legislature; at least by adequately paying its technicians and senior staffers in comparison to the Executive or better still institutionalizing programs to attract ‘best brains and minds’ in and out of the country. We believe far little or none at all. This sad story must change moving forward under this 54th Legislature.
We are aware, Honorable Members, that a 7-page document is voluminous for a lawmaker to read and digest especially when not one of your Chambers’ documents; we, however, will appreciate were each of you to request your Chief-of-Office-Staff (COS) or any senior staff member to read through and prepare a ‘condensed pager’ for your thoughtful review and future consideration. The circular does not have enumerated suggestions and recommendations. It is intended to speak to the consciences of you honorable lawmakers for the betterment of the institution and technicians/staff. It is a case study note, drawing reference to one of your bicameral Directors, Mr. Weh, as an umbrella covering for all technicians and senior staff members.
As we hear of possible and potential pay cuts from Members, it is our anticipation that portion of said fund be set aside to adequately pay technicians and senior staffers in comparison to the Executive or better still institutionalize programs to attract ‘best brains and minds’ for maximum service delivery for the yielding of optimum productive outcome.
Once again, wishing you a great resting-working annual break and all the best.
B. McCarthy Weh, II
Director/Legislative Information Service (LIS) &
Head of Secretariat/Joint Legislative Modernization Committee (JLMC)
Capitol Building, Capitol Hill