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"NA is more independent now than ever"

Dec 14, 2009, 1:44 PM | Article By: Alieu Jabang

The Speaker of the National Assembly Honourable Elizabeth Renner has said that the National Assembly is more independent now than ever before.

The Honourable Speaker made these remarks at the opening of a two-day workshop for National Assembly Members on a pro-poor budget.

This, she said, is evident in the abundant political goodwill and financial support enjoyed by the National Assembly since the Second Republic, especially over the last ten years.

"In reciprocation therefore, the National Assembly has become more independent and has also grown in size, strength and quality of performance in both its representative and legislative role and its oversight functions," she said.

"The fact that this forum is taking place at the initiative of the National Assembly is a testimony of how far we have developed and also of our independence from the executive," she added.

According to her, the programme budgeting by its very nature was more detailed and simpler to construct than to interpret.

She added that this new best practice is also more accountable and makes things easier for them to draft public expenditures on the prioritised areas, such as education, health and agriculture.

She thanked the UNDP and PROPAG for what she described as their good partnership and support to the Assembly for the past ten years.

Speaking earlier, the Acting Director of the Pro-Poor Advocacy Group (PROPAG), Mr. John Njie stated that they really appreciate their partnership with the National Assembly over the past ten years.

He noted that they will continue to collaborate with the National Assembly because their partnership has gained fruition.

The PROPAG Director also added that "it is a real fact that the National Assembly of the Second Republic is more pro-active, more innovative and more dynamic than any other National Assembly we have had in the history of this country."

He expressed confidence that the two-day workshop will be of an added advantage for the members to scrutinise and assess its budgeting.