By Momodou Jarju
The Public Enterprises Committee (PEC) has stressed the need for the board chair or at least deputy of institutions to attend its sessions during a session of the committee at the National Assembly.
The officials from the National Agency Against Trafficking in Persons (NAATIP), who were supposed to present their activity reports and financial statements, said their executive director is not in town and as a result they solicited the indulgence of the committee to reschedule the session between next week Monday to Friday.
“It is rather unfortunate that our executive director is currently not in the country. She travelled to Guinea Conakry to attend a meeting and as well the board chair also couldn’t make it today, for he has a very busy engagement at the court,” said Bakary S.B Trawally, NAATIP accountant.
“Our dilemma is lack of continuity because institutions should really have a mechanism to continuity regardless of the absence of officials,” said Hon. Halifa Sallah, the chair of the aforementioned committee yesterday, May 16, 2019.
Yesterday was the third time in a row that the select committee’s sessions did not proceed, something Hon. Sallah said should not be.
Sympathetic to their request, the committee prevailed on their appeal and informed the institution to use the opportunity accorded to them to work on the audited accounts they are to present when they appear again sometime next week.
However, Hon. Sallah said their position is that there must be the appearances of the chair of board of directors or the actual deputy before they can proceed.
Hon. Sallah said having a situation where no member of a board is present is clearly not the best practice, adding appearing before the committee rather than writing to request for reschedule is the best practice.
“So, we hope that that culture will now be engrained in relationship between the institutions and the committee,” said the national assembly member for Serrekunda Constituency.
Hon. Sallah, also informed them to note that: “For any meeting before any report is adopted, we would have the activity reports reviewed, the financial statements reviewed, management letter reviewed as well as the GPPA compliance report reviewed. With those documents with you, we will consider that the institution has acted upon its mandate and we will prepare our report for the National Assembly and make necessary recommendations.”
He emphasised that their exercise assists public institutions to gain a greater consolidation through its duty to monitor transparency, effectiveness and probity and thereafter recommendations are made to add value to the institutions.
The second session set aside for the Alternative Dispute Resolution Secretariat (ADRS) also did not hold yesterday. Officials of ADRS said they submitted the financial statements to the National Audit Office and they are waiting for the institution to submit them.
The officials requested to submit the 2016 and 2017 activity reports and financial statements on or before June 6, 2019 which was also granted by PEC.