Monday, June 1, 2020

National Assembly Confirms Appointment of Ombudsman

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By: Kebba AF Touray

In line with Section 164 (1) of the 1997 Constitution, the National Assembly yesterday confirmed the appointment of Mr. Bakary Sanyang as the new Ombudsman.

Tabling the report of the Public Appointment Standing Committee of the National Assembly, Kebba K Barrow the Chairperson of the Committee said in accordance with Section 164 (1) of the 1997 Constitution, the president is mandated to appoint to the office of Ombudsman in consultation with the public service commission (PSC), subject to confirmation by the National Assembly; that the motion for confirmation of the appointment of Mr. Sanyang was tabled by the Vice President on Monday 6th April 2020; that Mr. Sanyang’s appointment by the President is the second nominee for the position of Ombudsman after the Assembly earlier rejected the first nominee in December 2019.

Chairperson Barrow said therefore the provision under Section 164 (1) of the 1997 Constitution, limits the National Assembly from rejecting the second nominee for the office of Ombudsman ‘‘subject to the full compliance to the provisions of the Constitution”; that the motion tabled by the Vice President, confirms that the nominee was serving as a public officer as Governor of West Coast Region and that Section 164 (4) provides that a person shall not be qualified to hold the office of Ombudsman or Deputy Ombudsman, if he is a Member of the National Assembly, a Minister or holds another public office.

Chairperson Barrow said based on the above provision, the motion to confirm Mr. Bakary Sanyang as Ombudsman was referred to the Public Appointments Standing Committee of the National Assembly, as per Section 114, for scrutiny and advice; that Standing Order 114 (2) mandates the Committee to consider and advise or report on all appointments to public office, to be made by the Executive subject to the confirmation by the National Assembly and any other matter therewith.

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Chairperson Barrow said the committee met on Thursday 14th 2020 to consider and scrutinize the motion as was referred to the committee by the plenary; that some of the methodologies used by the committee to scrutinize the process include the reviewing of the credentials of Mr. Sanyang to ascertain the statuary rudiments as provided for by Section 164 of the 1997 Constitution.

“The committee noted the handing over of Mr. Sanyang’s letter ref. 14/42/01 (37), to confirm that he is no more holding any public office,” he said; that the Committee resolved to advise the Assembly to confirm the appointment of Mr. Sanyang, cognizant of the fact that he has substantial administrative or professional experience, and to confirm that Sanyang has ceased to hold any public office and demonstrates utmost impartiality and neutrality in the discharge of his duty and constitutional requirement for the Assembly not to reject his nomination.

Vice President Dr. Isatou Touray on behalf of President Barrow, hailed the Lawmakers for the decision they have taken to endorse the appointment of Mr. Bakary Sanyang to the Office of Ombudsman.

“You can all be assured of Government’s continued emphasis on the need to strengthen the democracy that we all agree to move with the rule of law and to work in a transparent and professional manner, in order to move this country forward,” VP Touray told Deputies.

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