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Senate vows punishment against bribes

The Liberian Senate says it will reinforce guidelines for the confirmation of appointed officials, warning that any nominee who offers or attempts to offer a gift to any committee member prior to or during the confirmation period will be disqualified.

In a guideline issued in Monrovia Tuesday, 23 January, the Upper House says confirmation of nominees will rigorously be carried out through a process that consists of several parts to include background checks of nominee, be it credentials, experience, performance at previous areas of works, behavior in community and in the society, among others.

The Senate confirmation guidelines have been issued at a time Liberia’s 24th elected President Mr. George Manneh Weah is nominating his cabinet officials to help work on his team for the next six years, having taken over from former President Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf on Monday afternoon, 22 January in a smooth transition.

The Senate says any Testimony given by a nominee should be factual and the truth; warning that misstatement or falsification of the truth shall be deemed perjury and prosecutable under the laws of the Republic of Liberia.

The guidelines indicate that all cost associated with any confirmation process shall be borne by the Senate. The guidelines make reference to Article 54(a) of the Constitution of Liberia which states that the President shall nominate and, with the consent of the Senate appoint and commission government officials.

The guidelines add that the Senate will shortly start the confirmation proceedings of government officials as soon as the list of nominees is submitted. In pursuance of this constitutional mandate, the Senate in its second sitting at the first session of the 54th Legislature on Thursday, 18 January approved number things in the guidelines.

The Upper House says there shall be formal public hearings for all officials to the rank of statutory District Superintendents, and other methods of vetting shall be applied to nominees below the rank of statutory districts superintendents.

The guidelines say consistent with the constitution of Liberia, only Liberian Citizens shall be confirmed, and that all nominees will be treated with respect and dignity during the vetting process. It says all nominees are advised to conduct themselves properly during confirmation proceedings, disclosing that all confirmations proceedings shall be conducted in the conference room of the Senate or Pro Tempore’s conference room or in the Senate’s Chamber.

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The Senate has requested the public to send in any pertinent information of any nominee to the office of the Secretary of the Senate for onward submission to the vetting committee prior to the confirmation of that nominee.

The Upper House concludes in its guidelines that each nominee is requested to submit to the office of the Secretary of the Senate of not less than 35 copies of his or her Curriculum Vitae (CV) to enable members of the Senate peruse said CV prior to the confirmation proceedings.–Press release

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