Legislature Holds One-Day Modernization Retreat

A one day retreat for the revalidation of the Legislative Modernization Plan organized by the Joint Legislative Modernization Committee (JLMC) took place on Friday August 28, 2015 at the Golden Key Hotel on ELWA Road, Paynesville.

The one-day of the Joint Legislative Modernization Committee brought together key Senators and Members of the House of Representatives and partners, including the Governance Commission, USAID and National Democratic Institute to review the Modernization Plan for the Legislature to retake ownership as it had become dormant in the last couple of years.

In his opening statement to the participants, the Chair of the Joint Legislative Modernization Committee (JLMC), River Gee County Senator, ConmanyB.Wesseh said that the retreat is the first step by his committee to ensure the revalidation of the Plan by the National Legislature, emphasizing that the Plan was a blueprint for effective representation, law-making and oversight by the Legislature.

For her part, Montserrado County Senator who represented the President Protempore of the Liberian Senate, recommended for the improvement in the working environment of both personal and central staff members of the National Legislature.

She called on participants to adopt all necessary conditions aimed at transforming the Legislature in order to meet the needs and realities of the 21st Century.

She said participants should look at ways and means defined as critical activities to be undertaken leading to the achievement of goals in the Modernization Plan.

It can be recalled that the 5-year Modernization Plan was adopted by the 52nd Legislature to cover the period of 2009 to 2013 with the aim of making the Liberian Legislature 21st century compliance.

The Consultant, Hon. Blamo Nelson and the Facilitator at the retreat, Cllr. Frederick Doe Cherue pointed out that; participants’ goal is to ensure that the plan be revised, in order to avoid the pitfalls in the implementation of the plan and enable the Legislature take appropriate actions in the areas of constitution review, land reform, local government reform, security, health, education and gender equality.

Meanwhile, the former Senator of River Gee County, Cllr.Frederick Doe Cherue and former Chairman of the JLMC committee, Grand Kru County Senator, Blamo Nelson who were contracted to serve as facilitators at the one day retreat for Legislators to review the Legislative Modernization Plan proposed for the holding of extra interactive programs to make the working environment conducive.

The 16-member Joint Legislative Modernization Committee which is chaired by River Gee County Senator, Conmany B. Wesseh was reconstituted following changes in the composition of the Liberian Senate occasioned by the Special Election of 2014, with the mandate to drive the modernization process being halted by the transition from the 52nd to the 53rd Legislature in 2012.

The retreat, according to the Chairman of the Governance Commission Dr. Amos C. Sawyer, it will reenergize and win the re-commitment of the JLMC members for the holding of a round table conference on the modernization of the National Legislature to meet the needs and realities of the 21st century.

He said for the Legislature to be a better place, lawmakers should design strategies that would strengthen the legislature role and responsibility in the governance and how legislations are processed.

The section 7 of the Legislative Modernization plan states that the leadership of the Legislature and the President of Liberia will organize, facilitate, and mobilize donors support for the plan, including the adoption of the revised Legislative plan 2015-2020 by both Houses.