By Tabora Bojang
A team of lawmakers from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association in the UK is currently in the country to engage members of the National Assembly on strengthening scrutiny on legislation and standing orders of the House.
The programme is part of a two-year parliamentary strengthening partnership between the National Assembly, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK, and the Westminster Foundation for Democracy.
It will focus on the role of NAMs and parliamentary committees in providing pre-legislative scrutiny, and consider relevant changes to the process of the Assembly’s new Standing Orders expected to be adopted later in 2019.
Mariam Jack-Denton, Speaker of the National Assembly opened the workshop in Banjul, saying that the programme “will empower members to fully participate in the legislative process.”
“In our judgment, the partnership has been very successful in strengthening democracy in the Gambia,” Labour Party MP John Mann who heads the team said.
“The stronger the national assembly the stronger Gambia and we are here to do our tiny little bit to assist that process,” Mann added.
The 59-year-old parliamentarian who spent 18 years in the House of Commons said it is observed across the world that countries with strong and robust parliaments are far more effective and successful.
The NAM for Kiang Central, Bakary Camara welcomed the opportunity for the training. He said since the commencement of the partnership significant improvements have been registered in terms of performance of the members.
He said the engagement will avail members to strengthen their oversight and legislative functions in the promotion of accountability and good governance.