Morrison O.G. Sayon
At long last, the much-publicized Code of Conduct Bill which lingered for nearly three months at the Executive Mansion for presidential approval has now been signed by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.
The Code of Conduct is a regulatory framework crafted by members of the National Legislature to guide public officials against corruption and other malpractices being carried out by some officials of the Liberian Government. President Sirleaf, while signing the Code of Conduct on Monday, described the signing of the document as a historic event for Liberia as a country and its people.
The Liberian leader said Article 90© of the Constitution of Liberia provides that the National Legislature prescribe a Code of Conduct to regulate and guide government officials against ugly vices in government. She lauded members of the 53rd Legislature for fulfilling their constitutional duty by passing the Bill.
“We all must be careful as officials of government as the Code of Conduct will be fully implemented,” Madam Sirleaf in serious mood said. She added that all Liberians including government officials, civil society, the religious community, the media as well as other Liberians must ensure that the Code of Conduct is implemented and called on Civil Societies in the country to serve as watch dogs for violators.
Senate Pro-tempore, Gbenzohngar Findley, called on public officials to conduct themselves in a more responsible manner as the Code of Conduct will expose anyone who violates the document. Bong County Senator, Jewel Howard-Taylor who worked tirelessly for the passage of the Code of Conduct Bill said the instrument is very significant and vital for the government’s fight against corruption adding, “It must not just be another piece of paper but be implemented.”
Also Speaking, the Chairman of the Governance Commission (GC) Dr. Amos Sawyer described the signing of the Code of Conduct as a legacy by the Johnson-Sirleaf led administration and another history-making for Liberia.
Meanwhile, with news of the signing of the Code of Conduct, many government officials appear worried as they will now be monitored by Civil Societies and the Liberian media. The Liberian government officials’ worry is based on the fact that the Code of Conduct will provide the basis to hold violators accountable for corrupt acts or malpractices in government.
The Code of Conduct has been languishing at the National Legislature for the past six months before it was finally passed by the House of Representatives and the Liberian Senate. Some provisions of the Code of Conduct guides public officials against sexual harassment, indecent dressing and calls for public officials in government who want to contest for elected positions to resign three years before the election year, among others.