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Parliament directs MDAs to withdraw expired legislative documents

The Sixth Parliament of the Second Republic of Sierra Leone through its Director of Legislative Services, Mr. Momodu Lamin Deen-Rogers has in a Memo to the Secretary to Cabinet and Head of the Civil Service, directed Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to withdraw or retrieve all legislative documents or instruments submitted to Parliament before the dissolution of the Fifth Parliament.

The memo, dated 11 October 2023 and referenced Section 85.1 (Life of Parliament), states that the intent of the request is to allow the Legislative Services Department to bring forward or deal with active and substantive legislative matters in the Sixth Parliament.

The memo emphasizes that the Cabinet Secretary and Head of Civil Service should inform all Permanent Secretaries or Heads of MDAs who submitted legislative documents or instruments before the dissolution of the Fifth Parliament to further engage the Department of Legislative Services on or before 18 October 2023 to facilitate the withdrawal or retrieval process.

Records from the Parliament Dispatch show a huge collection of unfinished instruments and documents which had been presented to the House but not considered or decided upon by the Fifth Parliament.

The reason for the expiration of the said documents is unclear but may be connected to the lack of a Parliamentary Calendar as in other jurisdictions, which may directly be connected to possible defaults from the Executive arm of government to advance its legislative plans at the start of every Session which the Legislature in turn uses to develop a Parliamentary Calendar.

Despite enacting over a hundred progressive laws and amendments such as the GEWE, Libel and Death Penalty Repeal, etc., it is anticipated that laws such as the Child Right Bill, Safe Motherhood Bill, etc., were stalled in the life of the last parliament.


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