The bill entitled, "An Act Granting Financial Autonomy to the Legislature," when ratified will grant the Legislature an authority similar to that of the Executive and Judiciary branches of government to exercise autonomy, thus experiencing leverage, latitude and decisiveness in decision-making and program implementation.
The Bong County Senator highlighted in the draft bill, which was submitted to the Senate plenary on Tuesday, that under the current financial administrative arrangement the Legislative branch of government is being subjected to bureaucratic processes which impede the smooth administration of the Legislature.
When ratified, the bill will also grant each House of the Legislature the power to maintain a finance section headed by a Director of Finance who will work in consultation with the head of the secretariat of both Houses for the efficient administration of the Legislative budget as enshrined in the bill.
Among other provisions as contained in Section Four of the draft bill, the Director of the Legislative Budget will be assisted by the Directors of Finance of both Houses of the Legislature in submitting the budget of the Legislature to the Bureau of the Budget, and shall ensure its inclusion in the structure of the national budget within the context of said national budget.
When passed in its current form, the bill will also grant the right to the leadership of any of the two Houses of the Legislature to subject its books of accounts to an audit by an independent auditor who is a member of the Liberia Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
This provision, according to the structure of the draft bill, is without prejudice to the authority, rights and duties of the General Auditing Commission.
Meanwhile, the Senate has constituted a three-member committee, chaired by Sinoe County Senator Joseph Nagbe, with the mandate to do a thorough evaluation of the bill and advise the body on Thursday.