#Article (Archive)

ADRS registers 727 complaints in five years

Jan 28, 2015, 9:49 AM | Article By: Njie Baldeh

Penda Gibril-Tommy, Executive Secretary of Alternative Dispute Resolution Secretariat (ADRS), has told the joint session of the Public Accounts Committee and Public Enterprises Committee (PAC/PEC) of the National Assembly that the ADRS secretariat registered 727 complaints from June 2008 to December 2013.

The ADRS executive secretary was presenting the 2013 ADRS financial activity report before the PAC/PEC yesterday.

She informed Assembly members that the concept of ADRS originated from Africa, and was known as African Dispute Resolution.

“This is evident by the way mediation is carried out, especially in the communities,” she said.

A sense of compassion and understanding is evident among parties, and a willingness to cooperate and comply with each other is paramount in resolving a dispute, and for a good relationship and peace to prevail, she further stated.

These are the attributes of that, making using ADR attractive to those that have utilised the services of the secretariat, especially in the rural areas, where it has been welcomed with open arms, she noted.

Ms Penda Gibril-Tommy added that the secretariat through its work had seen and met many people that were appreciative of the work it had been doing, and has registered many achievements.

It was, however, disheartening to know that there were many other people within the country that could not have access to services of the ADRS due to the lack of decentralization and sufficient funding for the existing offices, she continued.

The goal of the secretariat remains that ADR should be used as the first means to resolve a dispute, he told deputies.

The secretariat as ever “is grateful to the government, its development partners” in particular the United Nations Development Programme, the Ministry of Justice and various stakeholders in ADR for their continued support to the secretariat,” she went on.

She added that the secretariat looks forward to building on these partnerships, and creating new ones in an effort to strengthen its service delivery and fulfill its mandate.

According to the ADRS executive secretary, the secretariat was established by the Ministry of Justice, and in June 2008 opened its doors to the public.

The ADRS Act of 2005, she went on, stated that the functions of the secretariat are to provide services and facilities to those wishing to settle their disputes under the Act.

In late 2009, she continued, the ADRS secured funding from the UNDP Access to Justice Programme, under the Governance Unit, which kicked off a long running partnership.

Since 2010, the UNDP has assisted in sensitization and in the establishment of two regional offices, among other projects, and one of the first activities funded by the UNDP was a capacity gaps assessment, which has been used as a strategic plan for the secretariat, she said.