By Randall George
The Plenary of the Liberian Senate has voted for a bill to establish the National Center for the Coordination of Response Mechanism (NCCRM).
The decision by the Senate Plenary was triggered Thursday August 26, 2021 by a report from the joint committee on Autonomous Commission and Agencies and Judiciary as well as Human Rights, Claims and Petition recommending the endorsement of Senators for the establishment of the Center.
The bill was submitted to the Liberian Senate by President George M. Weah and subsequently forwarded to the joint committee for review, advice, and recommendation for onward actions by the Senate’s Plenary.
The Center in question according to the joint committee was established in July 2016 by the government of Liberia through Executive Order # 76 in response to Article 58(f) of the ECOWAS Revised Treaty 1993 on regional Security. Accordingly, Executive Order # 88 was extended on September 17, 2017, by promulgating Executive Order # 88 for another year, the Committee noted.
The joint Committee in its report acknowledged that based on the mandate of Plenary, it invited the Head of the ECOWAS Secretariat in Liberia and the current leadership of the National Center for the Coordination of Early Response Mechanism, as well as the Minister of Foreign Affairs to a hearing to give reasons for the establishment of the said institution.
The center when enacted will focus on six thematic areas which include governance and human rights, gender, security, crime and criminality, health and environment.
During the deliberations, the joint Committee agreed that statutory members of the Board should not be remunerated whatsoever, while non-statutory members may be paid or allowances and per diems, the Board members of the Center should be odd (uneven) members and that the Executive Director and two Deputy Executive Directors, one for Administration and one for Operations, be tenure position subject to Senate confirmation and not by the will and pleasure of the President.
“After a careful revision of the bill, the joint committee found out that the Center has been in operation since November 4, 2017 but, was officially launched on February 6, 2018. The government of Liberia adopted by the Authority of Head of State of ECOWAS issued Executive Orders #76 and # 88 to establish The NCCRM” the joint committee highlighted.
In conclusion, the joint committee in its recommendation mentioned in the report that with the modifications, the findings showed sufficient justifications for the passage into law “The Act to Establish the National Center for the Coordination of Response Mechanism (NCCRM).
The passage was however beset by a motion for reconsideration by Sinoe County Senator J. Milton Teahjay. Said motion is expected to be tried on Tuesday, August 31, 2021, for the final determination of the bill.
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