The plenary of the House of Representatives has mandated the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) to proceed with the disbursement of salaries to civil servants using the previous budget, stating that the salary harmonization process be left with the lower House.
Plenary made the decision following a communication from several lawmakers including Francis Dopoh of River Gee County; Thomas Goshua and Vicent Willie of Grand Bassa County; Clarence Massaquoi of Lofa and Richard Koon of Montserrado counties respectively.
In their communication to plenary on Thursday, the lawmakers said while the payroll harmonization process is supported which could help streamline spending and reduce the massive disparities in salary structure of public servants, it was important to proceed properly by considering the legal framework.
“We pray plenary to place freeze on the implementation of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning planned salary harmonization so as to save the country from the embarrassment for the rule of law and the potential that will engulf the government if allowed to take effect as planned,” the communications stated.
“Distinguished colleagues, the attempted if not ongoing harmonization implementation process insinuates that the legislature is unable to pass the national budget for fiscal year 2019/2020 as required by the public financial management Act of 2009; the action of the MFDP has the propensity to bring this Honorable House to public disrepute,” the lawmakers said.
They at the same time said “we have series of messages directed to our mobile phones and offices supposedly by employees of government that speak of significant reduction in salary, one notable message came from a woman claiming to be a health worker assigned in one of Liberia’s Southeastern counties, whp said that her salary has been reduced from L$37,000 to 13,000”.
Following a motion from Bong County representative Edward Kafiah, it was unanimously agreed that the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning proceed with salary disbursement according to the previous budget.