Gambia: Assembly Calls Off Session Due to Incomplete Report

24 November 2022

The National Assembly adjourned yesterday's session due to an incomplete report from the its Standing Committee on Finance and Public Accounts (FPAC).

According to Parliament's schedule for the Fourth Ordinary Session, FPAC was to table its report on the "consideration of the 2023 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure," on Wednesday 23 November 2022. However, this could not take place as planned.

This was meant to be the next stage after the minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Hon. Seedy Keita tabled the 2023 Draft Budget on Monday 14 November 2022.

Giving reasons for the delay, the speaker of the House, Hon. Fabakary Tombong Jatta, revealed that "up to yesterday, some committees had to finalise their reports for onward submission to FPAC who would then compile the various reports to be tabled before us this morning".

Speaker Jatta explained that "the time span is so short that it is almost impossible for FPAC to finalise the reports of the various committees for tabling before this August body this morning".

"To this extent, we had to give FPAC time to finalise the report so that we will have to adjourn today's session for tomorrow," explained Speaker Jatta.

NAMs were due to debate the 2023 Draft Budget for two days including today and tomorrow. However, this has now been reduced to a day. Speaker Jatta revealed that NAMs will only have today, Thursday 24 November 2022 to debate the 2023 Draft Budget due to time constraints.

However, the 1997 Constitution and the Public Finance Act provide Parliamentarians with only 14 days to approve the Budget after being tabled by the Finance minister. This means Parliamentarians have until 28 November 2022 to approve the 2023 Draft Budget.

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