Senate Takes ‘Sober Reflection’ of Itself -Retreats to Buchanan For 4-day Brainstorming Exercises

MONROVIA – Of the 60 senators in the 54th Legislature that participated in the 2023 elections, a stunning 49 of them, representing 82%, did not return to the Senate. The suffered waterloo for, as some pundits put it, being unthoughtful, lazy, mean and careless. Only a modicum of 11 or 18% did. Such a catastrophe of “democratic coup” carried out by the Liberian electorate is frightening, leaving much to desire for the current ones who may be coming to terms with the maxim, ‘rat trap is not for rat alone” or simply, “for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap”. Perhaps those thoughts have animated incumbent members of the Senate, and consideration the critical role the “House of Elders” plays in governmental service delivery and national stability, finding a solitary place to proactively reflect, rethink and re-order becomes an exigency for them. Thus, as The Analyst reports, nearly all senators of the 55th Legislature, for three days out of mainstream legislative works, are in the port city of Buchanan brainstorming, beholding the enormity and criticality of their responsibilities for the state.

Members of the Liberian Senate 55th Legislature on Thursday June 5, 2024, began a four-day retreat in Buchana, Grand Bassa County in a bid to produce a compelling roadmap for the next months or years.

A senate press release specifically indicated that the retreat will allow members of the august body have a sober reflection of their duties and responsibilities in the Senate.

Senators, according to the release, will discuss ways forward for the Senate and how to address some of the challenges and improve the workings of the senate for the benefits of the general public and the Liberian people.

The Senate is expected to review and amend their rules, review their financial management system and policies, review the Senate’s reform agenda, security and access control, national compliance policy as well as decentralization and modernization.

President Pro tempore Nyonblee Karnga Lawrence has often indicated that her ardent goal is to see a reformed Senate that truly reflects the interests of the country and its citizens.

It can be recalled that in her desire to ensure transparency and accountability, she ordered the General Auditing Commission (GAC) to conduct a comprehensive review of the senate’s financial system, establish a robust operating system, including financial and administrative measures.

The release quoted as saying, that the “framework will enable regular audits and enhance our oversight responsibilities. Since 2014, I have advocated for good governance and adequate oversight of government expenditures, emphasizing the national budget as a tool for reform and transformation.

“In 2016, I proposed that all Ministries, Agencies & Commissions (MACs) submit their annual budgets with programs to ensure transparency and better oversight. Despite challenges in logistics, human capacity, and technology, I remain committed to achieving our administration’s vision through this agenda roadmap.”

Speaking of voters’ quest for tangible development as criteria to elect their leaders, and owing to the fact that a single lawmaker may not be financially potent enough to singlehandedly address the development priorities of a given county or district, she said strategies must be evolved.

She added: “As such, a joint Senate-House collaboration on the revitalization of the county development fund is required; thus, carving an effective decision-making mechanism – decisions that will be geared toward positively impacting the lives and wellbeing of the electorates. This effective decision-making goal must decisively focus on increasing the revenue envelop of the nation.”

According to the Chief Overseer of the Senate, increment in revenue would lead to effective functioning of hospitals and other medical centers, enhancement of the educational sector, cultivation of a self-feeding agriculture effectiveness, sufficient presence of security personnel across the country, salary increment for teachers, doctors, health workers, etc., vastly improved water and sanitation services, youth development, amongst others. To achieve all this, the 55th Legislature, yea the Liberian Senate, will have to make program-based budgeting a priority for counties.

The General Auditing Agency (GAC) will do financial reform management report. Vital also for discussion at the retreat would be county development plan and revenue enhancement. As well is the topical issue of Value Added Tax (VAT) for spotlight.

Compliance will be critically dissected during deliberations at the retreat, including critically analyzing resource extraction model – how the country’s portion of resource extraction is evolved and how is such regulated.

According to the senate press release, the treat will entertain presentations to review committees and institutions under each committee for oversight, for checkmating potential interferences and usurpations.

A working document will be prepared for the purpose of references or guidance as the Senate continues its work thereafter, the release further sated.

  1. Jake Doe says

    A bunch of corrupt, narcissistic, vain, and greedy incompetents GOING TO SUN THEIR BUMS.

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