While moving the motion seeking the deferral, Fabakary Tombong Jatta, majority leader and head of government business in the assembly, stated: “This document should be sent to PEC/PAC for thorough scrutiny before we could do justice to it because it is bulky and it requires time to properly study it. I must thank the ministry of finance and economic affairs for ensuring that the contents of the document are updated.”
Sulayman Joof, Member for Serekunda West, seconded the motion.
Moderating the session, Deputy Speaker Fatou Mbaye describe the move as “the beauty of democracy” saying, “this shows democracy at work.”
Public Finance Bill
Meanwhile, parliamentarians from both sides of the political divide overwhelmingly voted for the Public Finance Bill 2014 tabled and moved by Finance Minister Kebba Touray.
The bill, according to the finance minister among others, seeks to strengthen the mandate and functions of the Accountant General’s Department, enhance the control relating to public expenditure, provide for the introduction and maintenance of efficient financial management system, cater for the requirement of maintaining computerised financial management systems, given the implementation of IFMIS during the past years.
The finance minister while tabling the bill said: “Under the current situation, the laws pertaining to public finance management are contained in different acts, some of which have little in common such as The Loans Act, The General Loans and Stock Act, and the Government Budget Management And Accountability Act and so forth. Thus, it is quite difficult for one to be able to have a good overview of the laws governing public financial management without having to consult four or five different acts of the National Assembly; and even the risk of contradiction and overlaps can pose a real difficulty. The bill seeks to remedy that shortcoming.”
He added: “The provisions of the bill related to budget management form a part of the financial management reforms that are currently ongoing throughout the government and are aimed at strengthening the public financial management functions. In order to ensure a smooth implementation of these reforms, it has become necessary to enact updated public finance laws to provide greater control over the utilisation of public resources and funds.”
Seconding the bill, Fabakary Tombong Jatta said it was ‘timely’ and that it will add value by ensuring that international financial management best practices are captured.
He said the bill looked at public management of debt and that it is self-explanatory, and non-controversial.]]>