Speaking at the legislative chambers in Banjul while briefing heads of government institutions, and parastatals about the upcoming PAC-PEC session, Abdoulie Bojang announced that the joint session will sit from 27 October 2014 to 2 April 2015.
He asserted: “May I reiterate that we are not here to witch hunt anybody, nor are we here to flatter or sing praises to anyone. We are here to ensure that transparency, probity, and accountability prevail in all our public institutions, and that our public institutions deliver the desired services to the general public in an effective and efficient manner,”
He said the joint session should be seen as an avenue where managers of public enterprises and agencies are accountable for their actions and decisions in the management of public resources. “Furthermore, it should also be seen as a forum where good management and best practices are recognised and encouraged, while bad management is appropriately sanctioned.”
He further stated: “The primary objective of this constitutional exercise as you may be aware is to carry out lawful oversight over public enterprises and agencies and public services. As people’s representatives, we are out to ensure that government and its public services, institutions, enterprises, and agencies, are all accountable to the Gambian taxpayers through their elected representatives in the National Assembly. This oversight mandate is provided for in the constitution of The Gambia and the standing orders of the National Assembly of The Gambia. The law requires that all public enterprises must submit their annual activity reports and audited financial statements to the National Assembly within three months of the end of the financial year. The joint session once again wants to make it abundantly clear that as soon as the schedule is finalised in a week after this briefing session, there shall be no room for rescheduling or deferral. Therefore, all public enterprises and agencies are expected to comply and conform fully to the statutory parliamentary standards and best practices of submission. The joint committee having convened at a retreat from the 27 August to 1 September 2014 has resolved as follows; that the 2014 joint session shall begin on Monday 27 October 2014; a draft schedule will be circulated immediately after the briefing for public enterprises and agencies (PEs/PAs) to take note. Accordingly, any PE/PA that has any issue with the draft schedule should contact the clerk of the National Assembly not later than Thursday 16 October 2014. Oversight over public services is purposely meant for each one of us entrusted with the responsibilities to keep our own side of the social contract with the Gambian taxpayers. Hence, we in the National Assembly shall discharge our statutory duties as entrusted to us, in our capacity as an oversight body, without fear or favour, affection or ill will.”
On the procedure for the 2014 joint session, Speaker Bojang said adoption of reports and audited financial statements simply means minimum benchmark performance level of admissibility of reports and accounts for consideration. “This does not mean that the report is given a clean bill of health as some media would report, but rather it means that the report is accepted for consideration.”
Meanwhile, the Speaker has announced that the assembly has approved the Gambia Human Rights Commission, National Agency for Trafficking in Persons, The Gambia Anti-Corruption Commission, Farafenni, Bansang, Sulayman Junkung and Serekunda Hospitals respectively to be included in the 2014 list of public enterprise and agencies to be scrutinised at the joint session.]]>