By Yankuba Jallow
The Alternate Dispute Resolution Secretariat (ADRS) has promised the Public Enterprise Committee (PEC) that they will be able to present all their outstanding activity reports and financial statements.
PEC is currently engaging all public enterprises in pursuit of clearing all their backlogs to ensure that they do away with the history of submitting backlogs of reports.
ADRS is one of the many public enterprises that are yet to do away with backlogs of reports. The Secretariat is semi-autonomous under the Ministry of Justice without a board. The Executive Secretary of the Secretariat is appointed by the Attorney-General not as provided by section 175 of the Constitution for the members of the board or governing body should be appointed by the President.
Halifa Sallah reminded them of the role of the ADRS saying their role include to render advice and other assistance to parties who request advise or assistance relating to settlement of disputes. He added that the Secretariat has the function to provide such services and facilities, including secretariat, rooms, and computers for parties and other persons, who wish to settle their disputes under the provisions of the ADRS Act.
Halifa Sallah said they have the mandate to receive the activity reports and financial statements of public enterprises three months after the financial year adding that they have a mandate to extend the time. He said this is why they entered contract with public enterprises to ensure that all the backlogs are cleared. He asked the ADRS representatives when they will be able to provide them with the 2018 financial statement and activity. In their response, they said they will consult the National Audit Office who will be in better position to tell them when they will be able to audit.
According to the Executive Secretary of ADRS, they have submitted the 2015 activity report and financial statement which has been submitted to the National Assembly. She informed the Committee the auditors provided them with the 2016 and 2017 report an hour ago before the Committee started session.
“We are yet to prepare the 2018 reports,” she said.
After consultation with the auditors, they were told they will be able to be done with the auditing end July 2020 because the National Audit Office has some other schedules. She said the 2018 and 2019 reports will all be done together.
They promised the Select Committee that the backlogs will come to an end not later than August 2020.
Musa Jallow from the National Audit Office said the delay often comes from the public enterprises.
“We allow them to adjust until they feel they don’t need to adjust anymore. This usually causes the delay,” Jallow said.
The Executive Secretary said: “We will do our best on our part to ensure that reports are presented to the NA before 31st August 2020.”
Sallah said since the two parties have assured the committee that they will ensure that all the backlogs are cleared before end of August, he would enjoin them to fulfill their promises.