Kebba AF Touray
The Kanifing Municipal Council has called on the authorities to review and amend the Local Government Act. This, as alluded to by the council, will support them in the strife to deliver services to the people.
The Council made this appeal yesterday during its engagement with the National Assembly Select Committee on Local Government, as part of the committee’s ongoing fact finding interface with the Councils within the Greater Banjul Area.
During the interaction, the committee raised numerous administrative questions, among them were whether the council has a contract committee, how often does the committee meet, when does the council open its bids and by who and whether the council is engaging the stakeholders in planning processes and sources of revenue for the KMC.
The questions also include whether the council has a budget committee, creation of project proposal for all projects, contract award procedures, project proposal regulation mechanism, implementation strategy, how often the council sits and the relations with the sub-committees.
The Council Officials responded that the council has a contract committee, composed of experts who offer technical advice to the committee, that the committee meets at least once in a month and the bids are opened in the presence of the bidders.
The council also informed the committee that it does not have a budget committee, but it has a finance committee that handles the budgetary activities and that the council has a budget proposal for its projects as part of the council’s annual budget.
The council also told the lawmakers that they sit at least once in a month, they have sub-committees that meet and that the council has cordial centralized structures and is working hand in glove with the structures which it include the stakeholders in the planning processes.
The Council pointed out that its sources of revenue include leasing properties, canteen rates, market daily dues and operational licences for businesses.
The council however, added that the traditional sources of revenue for the council have all been taken from them and this is a problem coupled with the un-amended Local Government Act.
“The traditional sources should be returned to the councils so that they can deliver”, said Council Officials.
Fatou Gibba, Director at the Lands and Regional Government Ministry said, “the issue of review of the Local Government Act is a concern. We have secured funding from the UNDP and we are looking for a consultant to do the review of the Act”.
She added that since the enactment “of Local Government Act in 2002 there has not been any subvention or grants given to the local government authorities as indicated in the Finance and Audit Act, as well as the Local Government Act; and this has been our challenge when we took over”.
She continued: “We have put in place a committee as stipulated in the Finance and Audit Act and we struggle to secure 8 million dalasi which the committee decided to give one million to each council”.
Sunkary Badgie said the meeting is not a fault finding mission, instead a fact finding mission to obtain the activities of the councils, successes, as well as identifying the challenges confronting them with the objective of providing solutions to the constraints.