By Muhammad Bah The APRC National Assembly Member for Lower Saloum Honourable Pa Malick Ceesay has strongly criticized the National Assembly Service for not being accountable and effective.‘We are calling on public institutions every time to the National Assembly to make them accountable to us while we are not,’ said Hon. Pa Malick Ceesay. The Member for Lower Saloum made this statement in relation to the statement made by the National Assembly lead consultant on the recently concluded strategic plan for the period 2015-2019 at a National Assembly workshop. The lead consultant noted that the National Assembly has not implemented some of the most important things in their past strategic plan which ended in 2014. The lead consultant revealed that the National Assembly had failed to make follow ups to institutions that pledged to support the Assembly in their numerous activities stated in their last plan. This prompted the Member for Lower Saloum to say that the officials responsible for implementing the National Assembly Service must be held accountable for not performing their functions diligently to the Assembly. “We are calling for people to be held accountable while we are not holding ourselves accountable,” he remarked. Hon. Saikou Susso of Kantora recalled all the pledges, one by one, made by different organizations to support the National Assembly Service, and remarked that they were not aware whether the money was received or not. The Speaker intervened by calling for the clerks’ office to clarify the issues raised. Someone from the clerk’s office responded that some of these institutions fulfilled their promises while others did not. He explained that the money received was spent on various activities of the National Assembly notably on committee’s functions. Hon. Pa Malick Ceesay further said he is not sure that most of the issues stated in the strategic plan for period 2015-2019 are achievable. He said the risk is high in many of these strategic activities highlighted because the Assembly needs to regulate many things internally. “I am telling you most of these things will not be achieved due to many things which I know,” he asserted. Hon. Ceesay argued that some of the constraints noted by the clerk Dodou Kebbeh are key, such as the Executive arm of government not adequately supporting the National Assembly and therefore the resources allocated to them would be small to meet their strategic goals for the period. Finally, the lead consultant advised them to ask the Executive to meet their demands before they approve their budget. He said, “You people are powerful as you approve all the financial expenditure of the country, why can’t you help yourself also, this is funny.”]]>
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