Senator Dallas Gueh of Rivercess County
Senator Gueh Raps On IREDD Report
By Winnie Dixon &Robert Dixon
MONROVIA, October 7 (LINA) – Senator Dallas Gueh of Rivercess County has called on organizations monitoring the work of lawmakers to go beyond attendance at sessions, in their quest to reveal to the public issues surrounding the work of the national legislature.
“Though they (organizations) are doing their best in trying to make the legislature responsible to their people, they too must exert their responsibility by further familiarizing themselves with the functionaries of the honorable body," Senator Gueh said.
Commenting on the recent report of the Institute for Research and Democratic Development (IREDD), Gueh admitted some lack of basic information but said the document also points to some realities at the Senate.
He concurred with claims in the report that the administration of the Senate remains under-equipped, noting that the “Administration of the senate should be devoid of senators and be given to the secretariat, which can be cited to answer questions of any irregularities,” he said.
Speaking further on the report dated October 7, the Senator said IREDD must understand that part of the body’s functions should be held in Executive Session, due to its sensitivity.
Gueh cited confirmation hearings of government nominees and national security issues as some of the discussions that are constantly held behind closed doors, something he said is prescribed in the rules of the body.
The IREDD report which was released on Tuesday, October 7, among other issues, focuses on three areas of the legislature, ranging from constituency representation, lawmakers ‘performance and oversight responsibility.
The report which covers January to July 2014, pointed out that Sinoe County Senator Mobutu Vlah Nyenpahn got the lowest attendance in plenary, a claim two of his colleagues, Sinoe County Senator Joseph Nagbe and Dallas Gueh debunked.
They indicated that their colleague is the Senate’s representative to the ECOWAS Parliament and as such, attends session at that body two weeks in every month.
The report further stipulates that Senators Frederick Doe Cherue and Matthew Jaye of River Gee; Joseph Nagbe of Sinoe and Henry Yallah of Bong counties scored A plus for attendance, while Senators Cletus Wotorson of Grand Kru, Joyce Freeman Sumo of Montserrado, received D in attendance.
Apart from the performances of individual legislators, the IEDD also noted that the Liberian Legislature “sadly operates in a state of paralysis with clerical professional staff performance continuing to be hindered by the unavailability of basic office equipment” such as printers, photocopiers, printers’ ink, among others.
The IREDD, with support from the National Endowment for Democracy and the National Democratic Institute , has monitored the performance of members of the 53rd legislatures, under the theme: "Towards Legislative Openness: See Your Lawmaker at Work".