By Omar Bah & Olimatou Coker
The Speaker of the National Assembly, Fabakary Tombong Jatta, has assured the National Audit Office of parliament’s full support.
In a statement delivered on his behalf by the deputy chairperson of the Assembly Finance and Public Accounts Committee Alhagie Mbowe at a forum of English-speaking Supreme Audit Institutions (AFROSAI-E) hosted in Banjul, Speaker Jatta said: “The National Assembly has recently constituted committees for the Sixth Legislature, and I happen to be selected as the Vice Chairperson for the FPAC. I can assure you that we will continue to support the excellent work that the NAO is doing in fostering good governance and fighting against wastage of public resources.”
The forum hosted by the National Audit Office at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Conference centre presents and rewards best performance audit reports and brainstorms the strategies and mechanisms that would ensure and strengthen the accountability of public funds in public institutions. The forum accords stakeholders an opportunity to interact and exchange ideas and experiences centred around strengthening the Supreme Audit Institutions’ determination to improve in the areas of independence, accountability and transparency.
Speaker Jatta said transparency, accountability, and probity in the public finance management systems is to be ensured in all institutions financed with public funds.
“The National Audit Office of The Gambia has been supporting and continues to support the National Assembly in conducting its oversight functions over public institutions. The NAO is staffed with professionals and patriots who leave no stone in carrying out their work. For the past five years, NAO has been so initiative taking in the way they conduct their audits. The reports submitted to the National Assembly are more user friendly now compared to before,” Jatta added.
He urged all Auditor-Generals across the continent to take a closer look at the extractive industry in the continent.
“The continent is bleeding and our natural resources are under attack and we are short-changed! I asked that you interrogate the contracts, the productions and exports of our resources. If the laws need to change, let’s work together and do it. If capacities have to be built, let’s work together and do it for the benefit of Mama Africa,” he noted.
The Auditor General Karamba Touray, said: “The forum couldn’t have come at a better time than now, as we continue to witness the great role that the supreme audit institution plays in promoting accountability and transparency within the wider spectrum of good governance across the globe. As we kick off this important meeting, I am optimistic that our deliberations will yield the outcomes that will further enforce our role for greater impact on our governments, legislators, as well as ordinary citizens of our representative countries.”
AG Touray said the NAO is committed to continue its mandate of carrying out audits on government institutions.
Mohammed Ali, Chairperson of AFROSAI-E said his institution is a regional organisation of international repute that commits itself to cooperate with and support its members to enhance their institutional capacity to successfully fulfil their audit mandates and make a difference in the lives of their citizens.