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Thursday, September 28, 2023

OSPG holds a day-long stakeholder dialogue on maximizing accountability


By Olimatou Coker

Open Society Platform The Gambia (OSPG) has recently held a day-long stakeholder dialogue on maximizing accountability efforts at a forum held at Mezty residence.

The OSPG is currently implementing an open governance project in The Gambia through technical support from The National Democratic Institute (NDI). The overarching objective of the project is to collaborate with relevant government institutions to promote inclusiveness, transparency, and accountable governance processes in The Gambia.

The objective of the program is to increase public awareness of the fiscal transparency and accountability process that involved the audit general, accountant general, and National Assembly, to improve interagency collaboration within the government and enhance timely audit reports, and also to develop a national plan of action that improves coordination and timely audit reporting. 

The day-long forum is expected to bring stakeholders together to discuss issues related to the audit process through a stakeholder dialogue roundtable, development of an action plan/communique on the more significant steps needed such as proposing an amendment to the Audit Act and Finance Act 2014, utilizing any opportunity for reigniting the discussion on the pending draft 2020 Constitution, etc., and to enhance timeliness for publishing audit reports to be addressed, as that is what’s needed to strengthen Gambia’s OGP eligibility.

Speaking, Ismaila Jarjou, Chairperson of the OSPG Executive Committee, said that the event is designed to support the government of The Gambia to take concrete steps to address some of the structural and policy challenges that will promote open governance in The Gambia such as interagency coordination sharing information and working with civil society to address key national issues like fiscal transparency and tackling corruption and corrupt practices.

He noted that the gathering will also give them the opportunity to develop a joint road map for implementation with support from the country’s development partners like the world bank, African development bank, IMF, and others to ensure prudent financial transparency for the benefit of the Gambian people.

“The OSPG and partners forming the open government partnership coalition, remain committed to achieving the greater impact that a single institution cannot achieve alone.

Hon. Alhagie Mbowe, Vice Chairperson Financial, and Public Accounts Committee, said the National Assembly has been a key partner in all organizations in the country that are interested in scrutinizing or making sure there is accountability in public financing across the country.

“That’s the reason why we have participated in many forums and also it is the reason why we have enacted laws that will help all stakeholders that they have the right information at the right time to be able to do their job and among them was the access to information bill which was done by the members of parliament of the 5th legislator”. 

Hon. Mbowe mentioned that parliament has even gone forward to ensure that the budget for the operationalization of this access to information.

According to him, the anti-corruption bill which he personally thinks is one of the most important that was brought before the parliament among others is at the last stage of the process.

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