NAMs send motion for confirmation of Access to Information Commissioners

Jul 10, 2024, 10:23 AM | Article By: Jankey Ceesay 

The National Assembly on Monday referred motion for the confirmation of Access to Information Commissioners to the Public Appointment Committee of the Assembly.

The motion tabled before the plenary seeks to ascertain the confirmation of the appointment of the commissioners by the lawmakers.

Tabling the motion before the lawmakers, the Information Minister, Ismaila Ceesay, told the Assembly that the confirmation of the appointed commissioners by the President is in line with section 42 (1) and 42 (2) of the ATI Act 2021.

He also told the Assembly that the motion also seeks to obtain the confirmation of the remuneration package for the Information Commission that commensurates to salary scales obtainable in existing commissions of equivalent prominence, such as the NHRC and the SOE Commission.

“The ATI requires the constitution of a committee embodying the ministries of Information, Interior and Justice to preside over the nomination of Information Commissioners,” he said.

However, to sustain the spirit of the unprecedented collaboration between government agencies and critical partners that transcend conceptualisation, drafting and the enactment stages of the ATI Bill, the Ministry deemed it necessary to co-opt three prominent CSOs as members of the nomination committee for the purpose of inclusivity and transparency in the nomination process.

He added that the criteria used in nomination of the Information Commissioners are requirements of ATI Act 2021, Gender, Age, Profession, Religion, Ethnicity and Experience.

He added that the forum that is established by the CSOs and government agencies, presided over the selection process, and the forum also presided over the identification and nomination of prominent Gambian personalities through a brainstorming exercise.

“The results of the identification process were further subjected to a meticulous filtration process that cumulated in the generation of the primary list of preferred candidates and a secondary list that serves as a fallback option in case of any unforeseen challenges,” he added.

He said that in view of the above mentioned and as per the dictates of the ATI Act 2021, the following appointments have been rendered by the President in consultation with the Public Service Commission, subject to confirmation by the National Assembly.

The appointed commissioners of the Information Commission are: Nene Macdouall Gaye as the Chairperson,  John Charles Njie, as Vice Chairperson, Baboucarr Cham, Member, Bai Emile Touray, Member and Ya Amie Touray, Member

The Legislative Committee would now engage in the consultation and scrutiny process with relevant stakeholders and report its findings back to the plenary.