Speaking at Janjangbureh last week on the dissemination and publicity of the recently released 2013 National Assembly Public Accounts and Public Enterprise Committees, he said: “In a democracy, constitutional arrangements are in place for the population to freely elect at regular pre-determined intervals their chosen representatives who will compose their delegates to the National Assembly or parliament. These arrangements underline the principle of democracy as being the rule of the people by the people and for the people. The presumption follows that the people’s representatives should represent the views and wishes of their electors and should therefore seek to have their mandates renewed on a constant basis both at national assembly cycle and also in between the lines.”
“There is an implied social contract between the populace and their duly elected representatives and frequent interaction between two sides is expected. As elected representatives of people of all agencies and operatives are subject to its highest oversight functions and responsibilities exercised through its public finance/accounts and public enterprises committees to which it must submit its annual reports and financial statements duly audited by external auditors and audit firms properly qualified for the purpose. The accountability of all central governments ministries and departments are fulfilled through the work of the department of treasury which records the accounting transactions, the directorate of internal audit strengthened to perform a proactive role both departments under the ministry of finance and economic affairs and the national auditing office headed by auditor general which post- audit those transactions.”
He pointed out that the integrated financial management information system (IFMIS) is being utilised as an effective tool for controlling and monitoring expenditure to facilitate the prompt and regular preparation and publication of budget execution reports.
Quarterly budget execution and internal audit reports, he said, will enable monitoring and enhance the transparency of budget execution while calling for the enhancement of the capacities the cadre of the accounting staff to manage IFMIS and general accounting challenges that may rise.
“The Central Bank of The Gambia’s new payments system should ensure that government spending does not exceed available resources as the department of national treasury can access, real time, the government’s expenditure and avoid extra budgetary expenditure and scrutinise discretionary expenditures. Since the National Assembly’s budget constitutes the needs, translated into policies of the public appropriately articulated, the National Assembly’s budgetary oversight is crucial and the through the PAC/PEC committees, it checks and curtails excesses by the government or executive.”
By Sainey Marenah]]>