MIA and partners set up County Councils nationwide
-Fulfil Local Government Act of 2018
The Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) has begun the establishment of County Councils in the 15 political sub-divisions of the country. The County Council is a requirement of Chapter 2.2 of the Local Government Act of 2018 (LGA).
The exercise is in collaboration with the Governance Commission, with funding from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) through part of the Liberia Decentralization Support Program (LDSP).
According to a press release from the Ministry of the Internal Affairs, the exercise kicked off in Grand Gedeh County on Tuesday, March 28, 2023, as part of phase one which includes Rivergee, Maryland, Grand kru, Sinoe, Rivercess and Grand Bassa Counties.
Recently, the Minister of Internal Affairs, Honorable Varney A. Sirleaf commissioned a team headed by Deputy Minister for Research and Development Planning Honorable Olayee S. Collins to visit each county in order to work with county Administrations to verify nominations from the various county-based institutions that are required by the LGA to be represented on the County Council, and to ensure the laid down protocols were followed in order to avoid problems.
Other members of the team include Mr. D. Emmanuel Wheinyue, Technical Focal Person in the Office of Internal Affairs Minister, Mr. Actebeouson Nyema, Program Manager of Governance Commission and Mr. Augustus M. Zayzay, National Program Coordinator of the Decentralization Program at UNDP, among others.
Prior to its departure from Monrovia, Minister Sirleaf requested the team to ensure the full adherence to the provisions of the LGA. The Internal Affairs Minister disclosed that following the establishment of the various County Councils, the Ministry and partners would embark on training of the members along with county Administrations.
The County Council is a requirement of Chapter 2.2 of the Local Government Act of 2018.
The County Council is mandated by LGA promulgate County ordinances, rules and regulations for the promotion of peace, unity, reconciliation, maintenance of public order, and security, and the delivery of basic public goods and services consistent with law.
One of the key responsibilities of the County Council will be to impose local taxes, rates, duties, fees and fines within limits prescribed by the Legislature.
Additionally, Chapter 2.2(g) empowers the County Council to authorize the issuance of certain certificates and operating permits designated by the Legislature.
According the Local Government Law, the nine-member County Council will have the power to approve annual county budgets, as well as approve County development plan and its implementation.
Among other responsibilities, the County Council shall recommend to the President through the Minister of Internal Affairs, the establishment of agencies deemed necessary of the common good for the good governance of the county.
The LGA mandates the County Council to ensure broad-based citizens’ participation in decision on significant issues of the County such as the annual county budget and the county development plans.
Chapter 2.3 of the LGA sets the composition of the County Council as follows: one representative for the Women Association; two representatives from the county youth organization( a male and a female); one representative from the county organization of people living with disabilities; two representatives from the County organization of the Civil Society associations( a male and a female); two chiefs from the Council of Chiefs of the County and an elder. The vision of the Local Government Act of 2018 is to ensure all citizens, regardless of gender or physical impairment will take part in the governance of their communities and counties