Hon. Alhagie Jawara

By: Kebba AF Touray

The absence of the Managing Director of The Gambia Postal Services Corporation (GAMPOST), Phoday M Jaiteh, has dealt a blow to yesterday’s proceedings of the National Assembly’s Public Enterprise Committee (PEC).

Jaiteh’s absence according to the Board Chairperson of GAMPOST, was due to an intrusion in his house; that at the time of the proceedings, he was said to be helping the Police in their investigations.

Alagie Jawara, the Vice Chairperson of PEC, dilated on the key provisions of the Public Enterprise Act, and said members of the board of Directors and other governing bodies of Public Enterprises (PE), shall be appointed by the President in consultation with the Public Service Commission, and shall be selected amongst persons of integrity, competence and maturity in judgment; that a member of the National Assembly, the holder of a political office or an officer of a political party, shall not be appointed as board of directors or member of the governing body of a PE.

He stated that the Chief Executive Officer of a PE, shall be appointed by the President, after consulting with the board of directors and other members of the governing body of the public service commission; that all other appointments for the staff of PE’s shall be made by the board of directors or members of the governing body or by sub-members of staff of the PE. This he said, includes the board and management, citing it as the significance of the Managing Director; that within six months of coming into force of the 1997 Constitution, an Act of the National Assembly should have established a committee to monitor the operation of PE’s and shall prescribe the manner in which such enterprises shall be accountable to the National Assembly, and shall conduct their affairs in order to promote efficiency and transparency, in all their undertakings.

“That is the exercise we are doing. We are not trying to do anything, but to promote efficiency, transparency and add value for money for the taxpayers. That is why we are established as a committee to ensure, that the value for money is not compromised. That is the essence of this oversight function,” he said.

He called for PE’s to cooperate with the Committee, and to leave to expectation. He slammed the attitude of some of the public enterprises in this respect and their payment of dividends to Government; that 5 out of every 100, pay dividend to Government or provide effective services to the people.

“A public enterprise shall within three months of the end of its fiscal year, submit an annual report to the National Assembly Select Committee on Public Enterprises, on its business and operations during the preceding year,” he stated.

Readers would recall that on Wednesday October 3rd 2018, GAMPOST appeared before the Public Enterprise Committee of the National Assembly, and presented its 2015 and 2106 activity reports and financial statements, but could not have the blessings of PEC. The consideration and adoption of their reports has been adjourned till further notice.

Join The Conversation