Editorial from Tia Belau
Why such poor performance of OEK?
Many citizens are asking why the lawmakers at the 8th OEK have been so slow in making laws for which they were elected only 8 months ago?
After being in office for six. months by July 15, 2009, OEK members have each received $25,000 to date (half of their annual salary of $50,000) totaling $725,000 received by all 29 lawmakers which was paid by the struggling tax payers.
This is a lot of money, more than the annual budget of each of the 15 states of Palau except Koror. And what do the lawmakers have to show us the tax payers for it? 4 laws enacted in six months which translated to $181,000 spent per law. And what are the laws-setting OEK salary at $50,000 a year or $4,170 per moth each, 2009 FY budget, children’ welfare, and designation of Angaur and Peleliu as ports of entry to Palau. In the meantime, over 60 bills have been introduced up to today.
This means only 07% has been enacted so what about the 93% of the bills. What about the revenue generating, tax, and other development improvement bills now that the country faces an economic crisis.
When the current third regular session convened on July 14 last week for 25 days, the two chambers recessed until today, a week later so only 18 days are left. What hap-pened between the April’s second regular session and July 14, a period of about three months. Did the lawmakers not hold meetings and hearings, do fact findings, draft commit-tee reports, and make amendments if necessary to pend¬ing legislations and so when the regular session comes around, the committees can report to the floor for action on pending bills. This is the reason for the four 25-day regular quarterly sessions a year so that in between, the lawmakers can do basic legislative work
Otherwise, why pay them a salary equal to that of the President, $5,000 more than the Vice President, and $20,000 more than the ministers, when they do not work full time. So if the Palau lawmakers work part time as their performances to date show, then their salaries should be lowered by half or at amount commensurate to their work production and time spent as we have seen for the last six months.
Let’s look at Guam with 15 senators representing more than 150,000 people with a budget in excess of $500 million annually. Each Senator makes $55,000 and an average 10 bills are passed per session. Just read PDN last week. And each of them work full time, unlike our senators, i.e. some continue to engage in their private businesses and consider their legislative responsibilities as secondary.
Full Article can be seen on the July 20 edition of Tia Belau Newspaper
Entry filed under: Informational.