With approximately six weeks for the resumption of legislative work, preparations are said to be on course at the National Legislature for its reopening.
On the second working Monday in January 2012, the lawmakers will officially resume work, with several new faces which emerged from the just ended elections appearing at both the House of Representatives with 49 new members and the Senate with 13 new members.
Upon arrival in January, the lawmakers are expected to elect new leaderships for both Houses to include Senate Protempore, House Speaker and Deputy Speaker, Chief Clerk and Deputy Chief Clerk, as well as Sergeant- At-Arms, among others.
Speaking to the In Profile Daily on the ground floor of the Capital Building Wednesday, the spokesman of the Lower House, Isaac G. Redd, disclosed that as part of preparations, the Maintenance Department of the House has begun both interior and exterior maintenance of its edifice to ensure that the First Branch of government gets a befitting facelift.
He also disclosed that the Plenary of the House will be fully digitized with an electronic public address system that will enable lawmakers have easy exchange.
When asked about challenges in arranging offices for the additional nine lawmakers who were brought in as a result of the joint resolution signed by the 52nd National Legislature, the House Spokesman noted that there are indeed challenges, with the fact that there were no considerations made in the 2011-2012 national budget for the erecting of additional offices.
However, he said they will be accommodated, with the hope that allocation will be made in the 2012-2013 national budget for such.
Mr. Redd further noted that already, the lawmakers have received their packages which contain: rules and procedures of the House, brochures on lawmaking, oversight and representation, among others, adding that the National Democratic Institute (NDI) is currently working with the leadership of the House in organizing an orientation for its members, especially newly elected representatives to provide them the opportunity to understand the workings of the Legislature.
He commended the NDI for helping to improve and strengthen the website of the Legislature, making it more predicative in providing information to Liberians both at home and abroad.
He also said as part of the process, several staffers of the legislature are currently undergoing training to manage and maintain the website.