Aug 6, 2020, 9:52 AM
The civil case involving the opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) and Sheriffo Sonko, the current chairperson of Brikama Area Council has been adjourned by the High Court.
Organised by the Gambia Press Union, the virtual sessions were organised to get the reporters au fait with the work of these institutions, especially regarding the national budget development, execution and oversight processes. The forum with the Ministry of Finance was held on Thursday and the National Audit Office on Friday.
The two sessions were part of engagements the Union is undertaking as part of a project to support journalists to effectively report on the national budget. The project is supported by the International Republican Institute (IRI) in line with efforts to further promote fiscal transparency and accountability in The Gambia.
Lamin Jahateh, GPU program manager, said the sessions were designed to bring key national budget institutions to explain their roles in budget development and execution process.
The main objective, he said, is to enhance the understanding of journalists and increase the coverage of budgetary issues.
Jahateh said as part of the IRI-funded project, the GPU has also been financially and technically supporting journalists to report on the national budget with a view to increasing the dissemination of public information on the budget.
During the Thursday engagement with the Ministry of Finance, Maria Azzi Tambadou, principal economist at the ministry, said the ministry has many directorates and units and that the Directorate of Budget is the one responsible for the formulation, execution and monitoring of the national budget.
She said the budget process in The Gambia starts in March each year with the preparation of macroeconomic framework which sets out the national priorities and sector ceilings for the next fiscal year.
On Friday, the National Audit Office senior manager, Sering Mass Jallow, said the NAO is a creation of the national constitution of The Gambia, and the office is headed by the Auditor General.
He said the Auditor General is mandated to certify withdrawals from the Consolidated Fund, the central government account domiciled at the Central Bank of The Gambia.
The NAO is also mandated to financially audit all ministries, departments and agencies that receive public funding to certify that public funds are spent in such manner as to reduce waste, eliminate in-efficiency and maximise the benefits to be gained from the use of resources.
Meanwhile, the sessions with the Ministry of Finance and National Audit Office are part of a series of sensitisation workshops that the Union is to organise with key institutions in the national budget development and execution process such as Central Bank of The Gambia, Accountant General’s Office, and the National Assembly.
In a press release after the Monetary Policy Committee meeting of the Central Bank of The Gambia (CBG), Governor Bakary K. Jammeh stated that the liquidity ratio of the banking industry stood at 93.5% as at end-June 2020. This is higher than the requirement of 30%.
Buba Sanyang, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Lands and Regional Governments has informed the media that 324 plots of land have been given as compensation to the community of Sukuta after their lands at Salaji Layout were confiscated by government.
Following consultations with the Attorney General and Minister for Justice, the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission will resume its public hearings on June 8, 2020. The decision to resume hearings was taken at a meeting of Commissioners, Secretariat staff and the Legal Unit on Monday, May 11.