Contemplates on staffers salary increment

In a move towards fostering transparency and accountability within the House of Representatives, Speaker Cllr. J. Fonati Koffa has mandated the Committee on Rules, Order, and Administration to conduct an “Employee Payroll Audit” of all individuals associated with the House of Representatives.

The objective of the audit, as stated by Speaker Koffa, is to identify and rectify any discrepancies in the payroll, particularly with the aim of eliminating ghost employees from the House’s payroll system. 

The audit is set to ensure that the financial resources allocated to the House are utilized judiciously and in accordance with established procedures.

The Committee on Rules, Order, and Administration will lead the audit process, carefully reviewing the payroll records of all employees at the House of Representatives and report to plenary within a month. 

The Speaker emphasized the importance of this initiative in maintaining the integrity of the House and ensuring that public funds are utilized responsibly.

Speaker Koffa expressed his commitment to upholding the highest standards of governance and accountability within the House. “This audit is a proactive step to address any potential irregularities and to streamline our payroll system. We are dedicated to fostering an environment of trust and responsibility in the service of the public.” He averred.

The audit is expected to be thorough and comprehensive, involving a meticulous examination of employee records and cross-referencing them with attendance and other relevant documentation. The goal is to identify any discrepancies, including instances of ghost employees or unauthorized payments.

The Speaker has urged full cooperation from all House employees during the audit process, assuring them that the exercise is aimed at improving the overall efficiency and accountability of the House’s operations.

The Committee on Rules, Order, and Administration will provide regular updates on the progress of the audit, and the findings will be made public to demonstrate the House’s commitment to transparency.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives- HOR, has requested its joint committees on Ways and Means, Labor and Rules, Orders and Administration, to review the pay grade of legislative staffers. Plenary reached the decision following a communication from Maryland County District 2 Representative, Anthony F. Williams.

“Hon. Speaker and distinguished colleagues, following my certification and subsequent induction by this honorable body, I received a package from the Chief Clerk’s office containing the House’s Rules and Procedures, LACC Assets Declaration form, and a breakdown of staffers’ salaries and coupons”, Rep. Williams alerted.

He said immediately upon receipt of the aforementioned document, keen interest was placed on the pay grade of staffers considering their income tax deduction and considerably matching their net pay to the prevailing economic living conditions of today, coupled with other challenges.

According to him, the pay grade seems disturbing most especially for staffers who dedicate exclusively all of their time to work, unlike other government Ministries and Agencies that are involved in programs and activities with extra benefits to complement their salary.

“Honorable Speaker and distinguished colleagues, with the above condition, I write to request the indulgence of this honorable body for increment of salary and benefits for our staff because these people are our direct representatives in our various districts and taking all of the intellectual bullets, verbal/physical attacks, security and other forms of intimidations as well as making meaningful contributions on our behalf at times”, he added.

In a separate development, the Maryland County District 2 Representative, is seeking the creation of additional positions in the district offices of lawmakers. They include, Youth, Women, Religious, Persons living with disability, Disadvantage Youths, Scholarship, Security Coordinators and Information Officer. The joint committees are expected to report within a period of two weeks.

At the same time, the House of Representatives (HOR) has officially inducted Grand Bassa County Electoral District 5 Representative, Thomas A. Goshua, into office during its 9th day sitting of the first quarter on Thursday, February 8, 2024.

This induction follows the certification of Representative Goshua by the National Elections Commission (NEC) after his successful re-election in the October 10, 2023 Presidential and Legislative elections. The induction ceremony adhered to the procedural norms of the House and was conducted in accordance with the rules outlined by Speaker Cllr. J. Fonati Koffa.

The induction ceremony took place after Representative Goshua’s prolonged legal proceedings related to the election results. Despite the challenges, he has emerged victorious and has officially taken his seat in the august body.

Speaker Cllr. J. Fonati Koffa, in accordance with rule 11 of the House of Representatives, charged Representative Goshua to uphold the constitution and diligently serve the interests of his constituents in Grand Bassa County District 5.

As part of the induction process, Representative Goshua underwent a drug test, which yielded negative results. He subsequently presented his clearance or certificate to the Chief Clerk, demonstrating his commitment to upholding the standards set by the House.

In expressing gratitude, Representative Goshua extended his appreciation to the constituents of Grand Bassa County District 5 for their unwavering confidence in him, leading to his re-election for a second term. He affirmed his dedication to representing their interests and working towards the betterment of the District.

The induction ceremony marks the formal commencement of Representative Thomas A. Goshua’s duties in the House of Representatives, where he will contribute to the legislative process and advocate for the needs of his constituents

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