President George Weah has renewed his call for the 54th National Legislature to approve a bill calling for the cancellation of tenured positions within the Executive Branch of the Liberian government.
However, the President’s latest push for the repeal of all of the country’s tenure position comes after both the House of Representatives and Liberian Senate passed two separate bills related to tenure positions.
The President’s communication further highlighted his long-standing effort to do away with tenure positions although these positions were established to prevent agencies of the government from being politicized and not influenced by political appointments.
But the Liberian Chief Executive argued that the status of tenured personnel impedes and obstructs the development “agenda of the President,” and that the two bills relating to “tenure positions” were submitted to the House for enactment.
The Act Prohibiting the Tenure of Public Officials within the Executive Branch of Government was submitted by the Executive; and an Act to repeal all laws creating tenures in the Executive of Government and established in lieu thereof, the Tenure Act of 2022 was submitted by the Liberian Senate for concurrence.
The President’s version which was passed in 2018 and forwarded to Senate for concurrence consists of four sections. The first reads: “Except as otherwise provided in the constitution of the Republic of Liberia, all statutory provisions of laws providing for the tenure of office, terms of office, tenure, or anything that provides security of tenure, of all public officials appointed by the President under the Executive Branch of Government are hereby repealed.
Section two: “The President shall have and exercise all the powers necessary and convenient for the effective administration of the Executive Branch and all the institutions under its control, and to this end, all appointed officials thereof shall hold office at the will and pleasure of the President.”
Section Three: “That the law supersedes all other statutory provisions regarding tenure office under the Executive Branch of Government”; while Section Four calls for the law to “take effect immediately upon publication into handbills”.
The bill prohibiting the Tenure of Public Officials Within the Executive Branch, having passed by the House of Representatives for over four years, was forwarded to the Senate for concurrence.
Meanwhile, on the second tenure bill, the House concurred with the Liberian Senate on the draft law, an Act to repeal all laws creating tenures in the Executive branch of Government and established in lieu thereof, the Tenure Act of 2022.
The House concurred with the Liberian Senate on July 14, 2022, as the bill from the Senate entails removing the tenure of services from a few of the government institutions currently benefiting and maintaining it only with those institutions that are integrity institutions.
The bill, aimed at integrity institutions, will be restricting presidential involvement and grant independence to the leaders of those agencies. But for non-integrity institutions, the Senate believes that it was necessary to cancel the tenure position for its officials so that any President would have the authority to designate officials to carry out his agenda.
The National Elections Commission, Liberian Human Rights Commission, Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission, Internal Audit Agency, Central Bank of Liberia, and Civil Service Commission are among the institutions whose tenure positions were upheld by the Senate.
However, the rest, including the Liberia Revenue Authority, and National Social Security and Welfare Corporation, lost their tenure position.