The National Assembly on Monday 16th July 2018 began a week long capacity building training on budget and economic analysis techniques and related public finance issues.
The training which is underway at Tendaba Camp in the Lower River Region is also expected to expose Honourable National Assembly Members to the content and context of the National Development Plan 2018-2020 with a view to equip them with the necessary skills and techniques to perform effective oversight on public funds and performance of government institutions. In his welcome remarks, Momodou A. Sise, Clerk of the National Assembly said the training is part of their strategic objective to mainstream the Assembly in consolidating the democratic gains of the country through expanding the space for accountability, transparency and good governance.
“The National Assembly is an important vehicle in promoting transparency and accountability on the part of the government. It is envisaged that this training would expose Hon. National Assembly Members to the latest budget techniques and future budgetary requirements, the content and context of the National Development Plan 2018- 2020 and other related issues of public finance with a view to promote more efficient and coherent government policy on national development and poverty alleviation”, he stated.
Whilst delivering the official opening address, the Honourable Speaker of the National Assembly, Mariam Jack Denton said the training is fundamental because a well-informed and skilled legislature will provide this country with the legitimate democratic scrutiny on executive policies and performance of government institutions. Adding that effective legislative action on the budget and related financial issues such as Audit processes and GPPA procedures also depends on the ability of NAMs to dissect the performance of activities financed with public funds and the results ensuing from government programs.
She further noted that it is pertinent for NAMs to be conversant with the National Development Plan since the plan envisages reforms which anchor on the shoulders of the Assembly. Such reforms she said, include among others Constitutional review and amendments of several existing laws.
Daniel Cardos, Deputy Clerk, Legislative Business and Programmes who chaired the opening session noted that the training is conducted early so that NAMs can have adequate time to be better prepared to deal with the annual estimates and expenditures of the government thoroughly and with due diligence.