July 9-13, 2018, the International Republican Institute (IRI) supported the
National Assembly of The Gambia Public Accounts Committee (NAGPCC) on a study
tour to Accra, Ghana. A total of nine National Assembly Members; one subject
matter specialist and two clerks participated in the event.
The purpose of study tour was to share and learn best practices from the Ghanaian Public Accounts Committee. The study tour was conducted through meeting with different institutions including Parliament, budget office and Civil Society Organisations as well as meeting with former Ghanaian President H.E. John A. Kufour at his private residence.
The areas of discussions during the meetings included committee system and standing orders, public accounts committee mandate, role accomplishment and challenges of the committee ensuring effective oversight over financial report from MDA’s using systems and strategies engaged in ensuring a citizens friendly national budget; fighting corruption and promoting good governance through transparency and accountability; and civil society organisations on their role in ensuring transparency and accountability in the management of public resources.
The first deputy speaker of Ghana Parliament expressed delight at the visit and shared some best practices with the Gambian delegation and key among them was the parliamentary structure.
He explained that the Ghanaian Parliament, unlike The Gambia has three speakers including the speaker of the house; first deputy and second deputy speakers. According to him, the speaker of Ghana Parliament is not a member of parliament unlike the first deputy and second deputy.
He stated that the first and second deputy speakers are nominated and voted during the first session of the parliament and normally, the first deputy is from the majority while the second deputy comes from the minority party. He further informed the delegation that in a bid to make the parliament independent, the speaker and his deputies are not mandated to have active partisan participation in politics.