11 February 2013

Gambia: National Assembly Adopts MDI Report

The select committees of the Public Accounts and Enterprises Committees PAC/PEC of the National Assembly, Thursday, 7 February,unanimously adopted the reports of the Management Development Institute (MDI) with highly commendable remarks at the Legislative Chambers in Banjul.

"A public service culture in modern times requires values of fair play, efficiency, and accountability. Without this mindset and without commitment to professional standards, resource management, resource mobilisation and social interventions, reforms and development cannot be effectively executed for efficient service delivery", asserted Dr. Jainaba M.L. Kah, Director General of MDI.

In presenting the report, the MDI Director General, who is also the Acting Dean of the School of Business and Public Administration at the University of The Gambia (UTG), told deputies about the commitment of her institution to a modern public service culture ensuring to deliver on its mandate to train and equip civil servants with requisite skills and knowledge to become more effective and accountable in the execution of their duties. She noted the efforts of her institution to spearhead major transformation in management development in the country.

"Within a professional staff complement of fifteen (15), and an additional thirteen (13) from the UTG, and almost thirty (30) adjuncts with specialisations ranging from public administration, education, economics and financial management to information technology, MDI is poised to play an effective role in the human resource development strategy of the government of The Gambia and also to serve the training, research and consultancy needs to partners within and outside of the Public Sector", she disclosed.

DG Kah revealed that in 2011-2012, the rehabilitation and campus expansion continued with a new building (Resource Centre), funded by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Fund for International Development, adding that an additional floor was constructed above the Resource Centre to house faculty and administrative offices and more classrooms. This second floor, she said, was funded by the UTG and the UNDP.

"In addition to our regular course offerings, other major academic activities undertaken by MDI between 2011-2012 include the launching of a new Post-Graduate Diploma in Management run in collaboration with the Institute of Commercial Management (ICM) in the United Kingdom, which has approved the ICM Department at MDI as a centre", Dr Kah told the deputies.

According to her, the course is a nine-month programme, which starts in March and ends in December each year. She further informed the Committees that they also delivered tailor-made courses to answer to the call of the government of The Gambia to reform and introduce information technology into the Civil Service. She added that about twenty-five tailor-made courses and consultancies were offered at MDI in 2011-2012.

"The year 2011-2012 was the year of partnership and resource mobilisation. MDI has embarked on an aggressive resource mobilisation campaign to supplement the revenues we receive from student tuitions and government subventions", she said.

The MDI DG told deputies that in 2009-2010, the institute benefited from a UNDP grant to establish and staff a new Consultancy and Research Division, UTG Consulting. She said during the year under review, UTG consulting was awarded over twenty-five assignments. She said thirteen of these have been completed while the remaining twelve are being implemented or awaiting implementation.

Director General Kah lamented the constraints facing the institution such as inadequate funding, inadequate learning infrastructure, inability or unwillingness of students to pay tuition resulting in huge receivables, and non-competitive salaries and conditions of service to attract highly qualified lecturers.

However, Mr. Dawda D. Fadera, Permanent Secretary of Personnel Management Office (PMO) and the Chairman of MDI Board, said the institution is for quality improvement in capacity building. He said the dividends from the institution come in the form of medium and long term benefits. He urged for the support of the committees' members.

The Director of Finance, Mr. Zill Jatta, revealed that the institution's total income was D24, 479, 704 in 2011, compared to D25,065, 440 in 2010. He said the total expenditure was D22, 294, 228, giving them a surplus income of D2, 185, 476, compared to D23, 916, 163 in 2010 with an income surplus of D1, 149, 277. The external auditors from Augustus Prom Accounting Company made several observations and recommendations for the improvement of the institution's financial management.

Samba J.B. Tambura, a compliance officer at The Gambia Public Procurement Authority (GPPA), in his review, said the institution was substantially compliant with the Public Procurement Act and Regulations.

Meanwhile, commendations were made by the Majority Leader and NAM for Serrekunda East, Hon. Lamin Jammeh NAM for Illiasa, Hon. Lamin Jadama, NAM for Niamina West, and Hon. Mam Cherno Jallow, NAM for Upper Niumi, among others. Subsequently, the report was adopted by the members.

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