Monday, March 8, 2021

PEC Decides Not To Deal With history

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By Momodou Jarju

The Public Enterprise Committee (PEC) of the national assembly has decided to end dealing with history by putting an end to the backlogs public institutions are grappling with.

Quite often, the committee had to adjourn or defer sessions because the enterprises that were supposed to present before the committee would not have the complete sets of reports, which include activity report, financial statement and management letter.

PEC has since the advent of the new dispensation clamoured for an end to the backlog to no avail. Some are complying while others fall short. Some of the enterprises are yet to present previous reports as far back as 2015.

Moving on, the chairperson of the committee Hon. Halifa Sallah said they have set out plans to put the matter behind them.

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“We want to put an end to the backlog… the committee have decided that we will not deal with history anymore,” he said.

One of the measures the committee is implementing is to ensure the enterprises meet all the reports for the periods under review before they would be allowed to present before the committee.

One institution which is being asked to adhere to this is the Gambia Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (GCCPC). GCCPC would appear before the committee again for consideration when they prepare all the activity reports and financial statements for the year 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. The institution is yet to prepare its financial statement for 2018.

Sallah told the commission that there are problems somewhere and they would engage them and the external auditors to discuss and ascertain the problems so that they can be resolved.

“Just get ready to explain everything that is serving as impediment to the proper functioning of your institution and then the auditors will also explain and we find a solution that this time, the backlog will definitely be a thing of the past,” the Serrekunda deputy said.

He added: “Because the commitment of the committee is that we will not hear any report until the 2018 financial statement is prepared.”

The story of PEC is similar to other select committees of the national assembly. Last week, the select committee on Regional Government and Lands, Ombudsman and IEC faced a similar situation.

The committee is responsible for area councils in the country and it has rejected reports of the Janjangbureh Area Council and Basse Area Council due to incomplete reports.

Both area councils failed to present their financial statements for the year 2015, 2016, and 2017- with Basse having 2018 activity report ready but without its financial statement.
The committee has given both area councils three months to put their house in order or else it would be contempt of the national assembly.

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