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Making Public Enterprises Accountable

Aug 28, 2008, 5:31 AM

Making Public Enterprises and Agencies accountable is indispensable in the development of any country, as it will help a great deal in the fight against the menace of corruption.

It is gratifying to note that the Joint Public Accounts and Enterprise Committees of the National Assembly have started receiving and considering annual reports and financial statements of all Public Enterprises/Agencies of the government of The Gambia.

Nothing can be more accountable than this. In a significant way, this is a clear demonstration of accountability and transparency in our society.

The month long exercise, which started on Monday, will give the lawmakers the opportunity to receive and consider annual reports and financial statements of all Public Enterprises/Agencies of the government of The Gambia.

Seen as it is, Public Enterprises and Agencies will be more accountable and transparent now than ever before in all their activities. They can no longer hoodwink the taxpayers, who partly or wholly funded Public Enterprises and Agencies in this country. It will all be there for us to see at the end of the exercise.

Yes the exercise may not be popular with some, especially those involved in dubious dealings, but we should all understand that it is geared towards performing lawful checks, scrutiny and oversight over Public Enterprises and Agencies and the public service delivery systems.

The meeting should not be seen as a witch-hunt but rather discharging fully the statuary duties entrusted to the National Assembly by the constitution and other laws of the country.

This is done with a view to ensuring that the Government of The Gambia and its public service delivery systems, institutions, enterprises and agencies are accountable to the Gambian people. Taxpayers should know how their money is being used and this is one way of enabling them to know about it.

 It has been reported that a total of 22 Public Enterprises and Agencies are yet to submit their reports to the committees for scrutiny due to unknown reasons. But they should know that they are only deceiving themselves, because sooner or later their inadequacy or whatever will stick out like a sore thumb.

It is the collective resolve and mandate of the lawmakers to make sure that the loans they ratified in the National Assembly or grants secured on behalf of the Gambian people are properly accounted for. They represent the people and should therefore keep the public abreast of whatever is going on. This we would all agree will boost donor confidence.

Public enterprises and agencies are for everybody. So anything that is done to make it more accountable and transparent to the general public should be supported.

"Trust in Allah, but tie your Camel."

(Old Muslim Proverb)