Gambia: Public Accountability

editorial

We hail the statement made by the speaker of the National Assembly that come this year's PAC sessions, no unnecessary red tape will be accepted from public institutions particularly when it comes to submitting their accounts for public scrutiny. His firm position demonstrates the determination of the legislative arm of government to continue to live up to expectation.

It cannot be argued otherwise that as one of the three arms of government, the legislature is a prominent component of our national endeavours. Apart from its law-making role, it serves as a watchdog, geared towards safeguarding the interest of the entire citizenry.

The scrutiny of the accounts of public enterprises by the Public Accounts Committee of the National Assembly is an indication that the principle of separation of powers is at work, which has ever been so in this country, though never been more pleasant as it is with this current set of legislatures. The credit goes to not only the leadership of the House, but also the politicians who constitute the House. Also, it goes to the executive and, above all, the president of the Republic, whose mission stands on the pillars of accountability and transparency.

To see our lawmakers commit themselves to the demands of the people by not only ventilating their grievances at the legislature and enacting laws to define public morality, but also ensuring that the people reap the benefits of their labour by ensuring that those tasked to utilise taxpayers money for development distance themselves from misappropriation, manifests the degree of commitment of our chosen representatives to fulfilling the needs and aspirations of the electorates.

In the final analysis, the PAC committee has the potential to control the menace of corruption and cultivate the culture of accountability and transparency among our public enterprises, the end result of which would help not only to inform the public about development ideas and proposals, but also convince citizens that the public agencies are interested in listening to their views and responding to their priorities and concerns.

We therefore hope that the public institutions would pay heed to the cautions of the speaker and cooperate with the National Assembly in the quest to make public institutions publicly accountable.

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