‘Ombudsman Act’ Passage Delayed

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first_imgThe amended Act empowers the Ombudsman to recommend appropriate sanctions and disciplinary actions to the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), as provided in Part XII Section 12.2 of the Code of Conduct.Under Part V of the Code of Conduct relating to electoral matters, the Senate agreed that issues “appertaining to elections matters, shall be adjudicated by the National Elections Commission (NEC), as prescribed under the Elections Law; and any remedy sought from such adjudication shall be referred to the Supreme Court as provided for under the Laws and Constitution of the Republic of Liberia.”The Act also provides that the Ombudsman prepares and submits through the office of the President for enactment a budget for the office of the Ombudsman to the National Legislature.Under Section 12.4, the President shall nominate three persons for confirmation by the Liberian Senate, one of whom shall be appointed as chairperson, with gender sensitivity, non-partisanship, and geography taken into consideration.With respect to qualification, officials shall be Liberians with “high moral character, recognized good judgment, objectivity and integrity; well equipped to analyze problems of law, administration, and public policy; with the minimum of age not less than forty (40) years; and must have a law degree (or) other professional discipline(/)experience relevant to the task to be performed.”Further on requirements, “an official of the Ombudsman shall not be involved in political party activities or publicly endorse, solicit funds for or make contributions to political parties or candidates for elective office; and shall not be a candidate for or hold any other elective or appointive public office.”Meanwhile, members of the Ombudsman shall hold office for two 3-year terms following confirmation by the Senate and appointment by the President, “and shall be removed from office by the President for nonfeasance; malfeasance; misfeasance; and criminal acts as prescribed under existing laws and regulations.”In matters concerning the law, the office of the Ombudsman shall have the power to conduct hearings in a quasi-judicial manner and make findings, give reasons and conclusions in matters filed before it, “while appeal from a decision of the Office of the Ombudsman relative to violations of the Code of Conduct shall be immediately appealable to the relevant courts of Liberia.”Furthermore, “No person who files a complaint or participates in any investigation or proceeding pursuant to Chapter 12.6 shall be subject to any penalties, sanctions or restrictions in connection with his or her employment or be denied any right, privilege or benefit because of such action. A person who alleges a violation…may bring a civil action for appropriate injunctive relief, actual damages, and punitive damages, which shall not exceed US$10,000 or its LRD equivalent.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Members of the House of Representatives voting for the Amended Act of the Code of Conduct-Set for Next Tuesday The House of Representatives failed yesterday to concur with the Senate to amend Part XII of the Code of Conduct for the creation of the operational framework of the office of the Ombudsman as established in the National Code of Conduct for all public officials and employees of the Government of Liberia.Members of the Lower House however acted to forward the ‘Ombudsman Act’ to the Joint Committee on Judiciary and Ways, Means, Finance, and Development Planning to critically investigate the Act and advise plenary whether or not the House should concur with the Senate on Tuesday, June 13, during the 39th day sitting.The motion was made by Bong County District #5 Representative Edward Karfiah following a dead motion from Maryland County District #3 Representative Isaac Roland.Earlier, members of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), comprising Representatives from the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), the National Patriotic Party (NPP) and the Liberia People Democratic Party (LPDP), lobbied for the passage of the Act, which did not materialize. Afterward, Rep. Roland, who made the motion, agreed that it should be sent to Committee’s room.The motion also called for the Chief Clerk to make available copies of the ‘Act to Amend Part XII of the Code of Conduct for the creation of the operational framework of the office of the Ombudsman as established in the National Code of Conduct for all public officials and employees of the Government of Liberia’ to every Representative.Montserrado County lawmakers Edwin M. Snowe and Adolph Lawrence were among some of the lawmakers who abstained.According to the amendment from the Senate, which was passed on Tuesday, June 6, the Code of Conduct did not provide a governing framework for the operations of the Office of the Ombudsman including the qualification, scope of authority, and tenure of appointees.According to Section 12.3, which deals with the scope of authority of the Ombudsman, it states: “(a) to investigate, on its own initiative or on complaint filed by any person or organization in violations of the Code of Conduct by Public and Private Officials and Employees of Government; (b) to undertake, participate in or cooperate with persons and agencies in conferences, inquiries, meetings, or studies which might improve the functioning of the Agencies and; (c) to make such inquiries and obtain such assistance and information from any agency or person as it (Ombudsman) shall require for the discharge of its duties, and shall seek the assistance of courts for subpoenas and other legal means needed to perform its duties consistent with the laws of Liberia.” Meanwhile, the Senate added Sections 12.3 to 12.10.last_img read more

Several miners, dredge owners arrested

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first_img– as Govt clamps down on illegal mining at Kaieteur National ParkPresident David Granger has ordered officers from the Guyana Police Force (GPF); the Guyana Defence Force (GDF); and the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) to arrest several persons who were mining illegally in the Kaieteur National Park.Reports are the decision was taken following observations made by the President.President David GrangerNatural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman said there were at least 15 dredges working illegally at Kaieteur National Park. Last year, the Ministry cleared out approximately six dredges, and a Police Officer lost his life during the operation when a boat capsized and he drowned.The Kaieteur National Park is a no-mining zone and is protected under the laws of Guyana. Police Commissioner Seelall Persaud and GGMC Commissioner Newell Dennison both confirmed that there was an operation at the Kaieteur National Park.Unconfirmed reports state that approximately two dozen persons were arrestedSome of the detainees being transported to the Police Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Headquarters, Eve Leary (Michael McGarrell photo)and were being flown to Georgetown to face possible charges. According to sources, approximately eight residents from the Amerindian village of Chenapau in Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) have already been flown to the city. Information surrounding the arrests, up to press time, was sketchy.Under Guyanese law, Amerindians do not enjoy subsurface rights to stones, minerals and hydrocarbons even if they are found in their communitylast_img read more

Exxon, BP & Shell among traders vying to sell Guyana’s oil

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first_img…Energy Dept defends secrecy…claims “commercial sensitivities” of companies must be respectedThe Energy Department has released the names of the traders it invited to vie for Guyana’s oil, though details of the negotiations are likely to be limited until they are concluded as the Department said the “commercial sensitivities” of the companies must be respected.Department of Energy Director, Dr Mark BynoeThis was explained by Energy Department Director, Dr Mark Bynoe and newly contracted Crude Marketing Specialist, Virginia Markouizos. The pair were asked why the Guyanese public only became aware of plans to sell Guyana’s crude using the on the spot method, through a report in a foreign publication.According to Bynoe, there are times they can discuss things related to Guyana’s natural resource with the media and “times that they can’t.”Crude Marketing Specialist Virginia Markouizos“The companies were invited… the companies that were selected included the operator and co-ventures. So you had Exxon, CNOOC, Hess, BP (British Petroleum), Chevron, Shell, Total, E&I. So these are internationally reputable IOC (International Oil Companies),” Bynoe said.Bynoe went on to say that preferably, Guyana would not have known what was happening until discussions were wrapped up. According to him, negotiating these matters in the public eye could negatively affect the process.“The decision was made after multiple rounds of consultation internally. As I said before, there are some things we will speak to at the beginning, some things we can speak to you during, some things we can speak about post and some things we won’t be able to speak about at all.”“Guyana doesn’t operate within a vacuum. Guyana is operating in a system where it has to deal with international commercial transactions as well. What we were aiming to do was come to you when the matter was concluded, not before. Because what that can do is weaken the Government’s negotiating position.”Adding to Dr Bynoe’s point, Markouizos explained that while it is good to have transparency, the traders and their commercial sensitivities have to be respected during negotiations. However, she claimed that much of the oil market already self-regulates itself.“Not only we work on transparency, but the market itself welcomes transparency. Because this is all building to a good reputation of Guyana crude. But at the same time, there’s a realisation that we must respect commercial sensitivities and at the same time, we have to respect public sensitivities.”JustificationBynoe also justified Guyana selling the oil to the operators rather than the open market, noting that the benchmark set now was important for pricing reasons. According to Bynoe, the decision was made based on advice from specialists like Markouizos, commercial expert Juan Lopez-Raggi and oil and gas legal expert Peter Stewart.“Value equals money. First impressions count. If you have a bad first impression, that’s how you benchmark. Do you want to take crude to the market that has not yet been stabilised, which will affect the price Guyana gets for its crude? That then becomes the mark we’ll be marked against for future cargo.”Bynoe, therefore, noted that it was important for both them and the operator, noting that they will also do likewise by taking it through the refining system before introducing it to the market. When asked if other options were considered, Markouizos had this to say.“We had a range of different options we analysed for the introductory phase, but it was clear from the beginning that this is the preliminary stage. There was a realisation and clarity on the fact that first, we have to introduce and test the grade before moving on. So different options were examined and we had all the pros and cons laid out, before selecting [this] one,” Markouizos noted.It must be noted that if the list supplied is exhaustive it would appear that Bynoe has excluded the independent crude oil traders that are much more competitive and larger than the oil producers in the trading field.Several of those very traders who will be negotiating with the Government to sell Guyana’s crude lifts are already players in the lucrative 6.6 million acres Stabroek Block. ExxonMobil’s affiliate, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL) is the operator in the Block and holds 45 per cent interest in the Stabroek Block.Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd, meanwhile, holds a 30 per cent interest and CNOOC Petroleum Guyana Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CNOOC Limited, holds 25 per cent interest in the Block.At one point, Shell was also one of Exxon’s partners. However, it pulled out of the Stabroek Block prior to 2015. Meanwhile, French oil company Total has shares in both the Orinduik and Kanuku Blocks.last_img read more

Digicel Cancer Awareness Cycle Race on this Sunday

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first_imgDigicel Guyana’s 7th annual Cancer Awareness Cycle Race is set for this Sunday, with 5 categories of races and cash and prizes up for grabs.The race is scheduled to begin promptly at 8am on Sunday, October 21st. Starting point is the JB Singh Road running parallel to Vlissengen Road.Spectators will witness the country’s top seniors, juniors, mountain bikers and veterans over-45 and under-45 compete for the spoils that are up for grabs. In addition, there will be an inaugural children’s race.The event, which has grown to become one of cycling’s feature meets, is organised by the Evolution Cycling Club, with telecom giants Digicel on board to assist in donating to the Cancer Institute of Guyana. All proceeds will be donated to the Cancer Institute of Guyana.There will be a registration fee of Gy$2000 for participation in this event, and the total registration fees garnered will be matched in value and donated to the Cancer Institute. Part of all proceeds from smartphone sales for the month of October would also be donated to the Cancer Institute.In the previous year, Williams and Dey won the senior and junior categories respectively.In addition to Digicel Guyana, Banks DIH Limited, through its Rainforest Water Brand, is onboard as a partner to support Cancer Awareness Month.The stakeholders are urging members of the public to come out and witness the country’s riders as they compete for a good cause.last_img read more

Jurgen Klopp reveals date Liverpool World Cup stars will return

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first_imgLiverpool’s World Cup semi-finalists will return to the club just a week before the Reds kick off their Premier League season.Dejan Lovren, Jordan Henderson, Simon Mignolet and Trent Alexander-Arnold have been given three weeks off following their exploits in Russia. Klopp said: “They are back as well at August 5, I think, then we have proper week to prepare the season.”Lovren played 651 minutes as Croatia reached the final for the first time in their history.The centre-back started the final but was unable to help his side to glory, with France clinching a 4-2 victory, while he grappled with a pitch invader.Henderson played 428 minutes for England as the Three Lions reached the semi-finals for the first time since 1990. Dejan Lovren receives his World Cup runners up medal from Russian president Vladimir Putin How the Premier League table could change after the Boxing Day fixtures 2 Jordan Henderson was a key part of England’s historic run in Russia REVEALED Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury 2 How Liverpool could line up at Leicester with midfielder set for lengthy absence smart causal RANKED possible standings center_img Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade Latest Liverpool news predicted huge blow silverware Alexander-Arnold featured in just one game for England, playing 79 minutes in the final group stage clash with Belgium, while Simon Mignolet did not play a single minute as Belgium secured third place.The other Liverpool players who were in World Cup action this summer will report back for duty earlier.Marko Grujic, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane will link up with the squad when they fly out for their tour of the United States later this week.Roberto Firmino will not travel to the US, and is scheduled to return later this month in the team’s subsequent training camp in France. England’s most successful clubs of the past decade, according to trophies won REVEALED Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won Every current Premier League club’s best kit from the past decade Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? last_img read more

ABUSE SCANDAL: CARDINAL SAYS ‘SORRY’ ON TRIP TO DONEGAL

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first_imgCARDINAL Sean Brady has apologised to victims of paedophile priest Father Brendan Smyth during a visit today to Co Donegal.Speaking to RTE at Lough Derg following a penitential pilgrimage in advance of next month’s Eucharistic Congress, Dr Brady also said he had no intention of stepping aside, despite continuing calls for his resignation.He said there had also been “many many calls from people who want me to stay on.” But he said he hoped a coadjutor – with succession rights – would be appointed to his archdiocese as soon as possible.Dr Brady said he now realised that the parents of children who were being abused by Brendan Smyth should have been informed about the allegations of abuse being made against him.“Definitely the parents should have been informed. That’s quite clear,” he told reporter Tommie Gorman.Dr Brady said he apologised “without hesitation” to Brendan Boland, and to all survivors of abuse. He said he would also like to personally apologise to Mr Boland, and hoped to do so in the future.He said he intended to remain on as primate “until I’m 75, or unless the Holy See indicated it didn’t want me to stay”.The cardinal said there was absolutely no indication from the Holy See that it wanted him to resign. ABUSE SCANDAL: CARDINAL SAYS ‘SORRY’ ON TRIP TO DONEGAL was last modified: May 8th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:ABUSE SCANDAL: CARDINAL SAYS ‘SORRY’ ON TRIP TO DONEGALlast_img read more

Russian shoppers sickened by gas attack

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first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake Officials with the Maksidom home-supply chain, which sells furnishings, home-repair material and other domestic articles, said they had received recent threats that sales would be disrupted around New Year’s, when Russians traditionally give holiday gifts. Most efforts to undermine competitors’ sales in Russia’s sharp-elbowed free market take the form of negative advertising or damaging rumors. Business-related violence nonetheless remains a feature of the cutthroat capitalism that enveloped Russia following the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. “The first reaction is that it is one of the competitors of this store chain,” St. Petersburg Gov. Valentina Matviyenko said in televised comments. St. Petersburg police spokesman Vyacheslav Stepchenko said the gas appeared to be methyl mercaptan, a gas that smells like rotten cabbage and is both naturally occurring and manufactured for use in plastics and pesticides. Chemist Lev Fyodorov, head of an environmental group called For Chemical Safety, said in an NTV television report that the gas rarely has long-lasting effects. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! ST. PETERSBURG, Russia – A gas attack in a home-supply store on one of the busiest shopping days of the year sickened scores of people Monday in an incident that police called likely motivated by a commercial dispute or blackmail attempt. Boxes containing timers wired to glass vials were discovered at the scene of the attack and three other stores in the same chain in Russia’s second-largest city. Seventy-eight people sought medical care: 66 were briefly hospitalized and sent home without any lasting ill effects, officials said. Police said that the store where the people were sickened had not yet opened for the day and all those affected were store employees or police, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported. A police spokesman told The Associated Press that some customers had been sickened.last_img read more

‘Lick your wounds, come in tomorrow and do your job’: A closer look at the Athletics’ rare bullpen meltdown

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first_imgOAKLAND — It was almost poetic, really. Now a Giant, Stephen Vogt toed the Coliseum dirt he once kicked daily as an Athletic and deposited a home run once again into a sea of fans in left field that had come prepared to welcome him back home.Vogt’s three-run homer off Ryan Buchter looked to be pulled by the cosmos, and also was the final blow to a now uncharacteristically tumultuous eighth inning meltdown for the A’s bullpen that led to a 10-5 loss to the Giants on Saturday night.“Felt like …last_img

Good Samaritan Policy launched to save accident victims

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first_imgA ‘Good Samaritan’ policy was launched on Sunday by the administration in Odisha’s Kendrapara district under which Rs 2,000 would be given to any person extending immediate help in shifting a road accident victim to the hospital. This scheme is intended to encourage people shift road accident victims immediately to hospital. It will go a long way in saving precious human lives lost due to delayed hospitalisation. Litigation and police questioning often deterred the people to come to the aid of the distressed accident victims, said a senior official. The people who will shift victims to hospitals will be given cash incentive Rs 2,000. Besides, the administration will issue an appreciation certificate to recognise the noble work done by them. The acts of shifting will also them legal protection. And police will be bereft of its legal right to summon or question them in connection with the accident, said Kendrapara District Collector, Reghu G. The administration is implementing ‘Good Samaritan’ policy abiding by the apex court order. The Supreme Court had earlier asked government to ensure that common people are not harassed by police while shifting accident victims to hospitals. The state transport department had also issued guidelines requesting the administration for the launch of “good Samaritan” scheme with monetary rewards. At least 400 people perish in highway accidents every year in Kendrapara. More than 50 % cases are found to have met their end due to delayed hospital shifting. Timely medical attention could have saved 200 people who died due to road accidents in Kendrapara, said road safety campaigner, Manoj Kumar Satapathy. The scheme will help in reducing the time for an accident victim to reach a hospital. People are hesitant to help, mainly because they are scared of police investigation that follows road accidents. Now many will come forward to don the mantle of Good Samaritan, he said.last_img read more

Crouching leopard, gun-toting Minister

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first_imgMaharashtra’s Irrigation Minister Girish Mahajan pulled the trigger on a fresh controversy after he was spotted wielding a pistol while accompanying a search party looking for a leopard that killed a woman in Jalgaon district.As the Minister’s conduct became a talking point and the Opposition parties demanded his resignation, Mr. Mahajan claimed that his intention was only to scare the animal and not to kill it. Visited victims On Monday, Mr. Mahajan had visited the house of Dipali Jagtap, who was killed by a leopard in Chalisgaon tehsil. While he was returning after offering condolences to the family, information reached him that a leopard had been sighted near the Navegaon locality in Warkhede village.In a video which has since been widely circulated, Mr. Mahajan is seen participating in the search operation, with a pistol in his hand. “My intention was not to kill the leopard, but to fire in the air, if needed. I took out the gun for which I have a licence,” he said after the controversy broke out. “We were told that Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar had permitted the shooting at sight of the animal since it had killed people,” he added. This is not the first time the gun-toting Minister has courted controversy. In March 2015, Mr. Mahajan was seen at a school function, attended by differently abled children, armed with a gun. He later said he carried the weapon for “self-defence”, and he had not been involved in any kind of violence.“On Monday, I visited the families of the people killed by the leopard. On my way, forest officials sighted the leopard, so we decided to chase it. Till date, I have not even killed a sparrow,” Mr. Mahajan said.last_img read more