The processes leading to the full roll-out of Liberia’s Decentralization Program continue to accelerate following the Presidential Launch of the National Deconcentration Platform in Gbarnga, Bong County, on February 18, 2015. As a key function to precede the implementation of other components of decentralization, a Local Government Act (LGA) was crafted under the supervision of the Governance Commission headed by Dr. Amos Sawyer.
The Act, among other things, contains provisions dealing with amendment in Articles of the Liberian Constitution that call for the appointment of superintendents, mayors, District Commissioners, etc. It also highlights the role of traditional authorities in political governance in Liberia. Upon its submission to the National Legislature, the LGA will undergo scrupulous legislative vetting before some provisions thereof are put up for national referendum.
In anticipation of its submission to the Legislative Body, the LGA was from March 5 – 6, 2015, a subject of thorough internal review by representatives of ministries, agencies and commissions (MACs) meeting at the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
At the opening session, Internal Affairs Minister, Hon. Morris M. Dukuly, expressed delight that continuously coordination amongst the various MACs was ongoing, saying, this level of coordination was important to the realization of key milestones, including legislative approval of the LGA, in Government’s drive to implement full decentralization.
Mr. Yarsuo Weh Dorlaie, Commissioner responsible for the decentralization at the Governance Commission, presented the draft Local Government Act before it was opened for discussion by participants attending the two-day internal review exercise.
The two-day interactive sessions saw key provisions being discussed, including Powers and Authority of Local Government, Devolved and Dedicated Functions of Local Government, Election of persons to the County Council, Land and Natural Resources, among others.
Amendments to the document as agreed at the review meeting, are being consolidated into a final draft before it is submitted to the National Legislature.
Amongst those in attendance were Internal Affairs Minister, Hon. Morris M. Dukuly, Deputy Internal Affairs Minister for administration, Hon. Varney Sirleaf, National Program Director of the National Decentralization Implementation Secretariat (NDIS), Dr. Roosevelt Jayjay and Dr. Alfred Kulah, Advisor on Political Decentralization at the NDIS.