27 December 2012

Gambia: We Are Wondering Mr. President


Before we put pen on paper to ask where in the budget is a Ministry of Presidential Affairs catered for you have moved the person who used to hold the portfolio of Secretary General and Minister of Presidential Affairs to the Ministry of information.

Notwithstanding, we still have to ask how a person could occupy a position that is not provided for in the budget. We have looked at the 2013 estimates of revenue and expenditure and do not see any portfolio for a Minister for Presidential Affairs. We hope that just like the portfolios of Junior Ministers have disappeared since they could not be members of Cabinet or act on behalf of Ministers, we equally hope that your office has come to the realisation that one cannot be Secretary General and Minister at the same time.

Secondly, Secretary General is appointed by the President acting in accordance with the advice of the Public Service Commission.

Thirdly, no appointment of a Minister or any other holder of an office should take place unless an appropriation or supplementary appropriation has been passed by the National Assembly and has gone through the normal legislative process to become an Act of the National Assembly that provides for the salaries and allowances of the appointees.

Lastly, Public Enterprises like GRTS are governed by their Board of Directors. Hence the Director General is appointed by the President after consultation with the Board and the public Service Commission. The post of Deputy Director and other posts are filled by the Board.

No public servant should be reduced in rank or punished without just cause. In short, there should be security of tenure in the Public Service.

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