Mar 1, 2010, 11:25 AM
As PAC/ PEC Prepares to Receive Annual Reports
In what could be described as an ultimatum to all public enterprises and agencies, Hon. Fatoumata Jahumpa Ceesay, Speaker of the National Assembly, has warned that by 8thSeptember the joint committee of Finance and Public Enterprises of the National Assembly will proceed to take appropriate legal measures against defaulting agencies and enterprises that fail to submit their annual reports, accounts and financial statements by 2ndSeptember 2008.
Speaker Jahumpa Ceesay's caution came as the National Assembly committees prepare to receive and consider annual reports and financial statements of all Public Enterprises/Agencies of the government of The Gambia.
The month-long exercise expected to be convened from Monday, 25thAugust 2008 to September 2008, will give the law-makers the opportunity to receive and consider annual reports and financial statements of all Public Enterprises/Agencies of the government of The Gambia.
So far only 20 Public Institutions and Enterprises are said to have complied with the constitution by submitting their reports, accounts and financial statements to the National Assembly on time for statutory considerations and scrutiny by law-makers, while about 22 are yet to do so.
This exercise is in pursuance of the powers bestowed on Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and the Public Enterprises Committee (PEC) of the National Assembly by the provisions of section 102, 109 and 110 of the 1997 Constitution of The Gambia, which require that the annual reports, accounts and financial statements of all Public Enterprises and Agencies that are funded wholly and partly by taxes from the people of The Gambia are jointly received and considered.
Speaking at a press briefing on Monday, 18thAugust 2008 at the National Assembly Chambers, the Speaker of the National Assembly noted that "the principal objective of this statutory exercise is to perform lawful checks, scrutiny and oversight over Public Enterprises and Agencies and the public service delivery systems with a view to ensuring that the Government of The Gambia and its public service delivery systems, institutions, enterprises and agencies are all accountable to the Gambian people."
She however highlighted that the meeting is not out to witch-hunt anybody but designed rather to fully discharge the statutory duties entrusted to the National Assembly by the constitution and other laws of the country.
"It is our collective resolve and mandate to make sure that the loans we ratified here in this Assembly or grants secured on behalf of the Gambian people are properly accounted for," she explained. "This we would all agree will boost donor confidence," she added.