The National Assembly on Monday July 16th 2018, began a week long capacity building training on budget and economic analysis techniques, and related public finance issues. The training which is underway at Tendaba Camp in the Lower River Region, will expose Members to the content and context of the National Development Plan 2018-2020, with a view to equip them with the necessary skills and techniques to perform effective oversight functions on public funds and performance of Government institutions.
In his welcome remarks, Momodou A. Sise, the Clerk of the National Assembly, said the training is part of their strategic objective of mainstreaming the Assembly, to consolidate the democratic gains of the country, by expanding the space for accountability, transparency and good governance.
“The National Assembly is an important vehicle in promoting transparency and accountability on behalf of Government. It is envisaged that this training will expose Members to the latest techniques on future budgetary allocations and requirements, the content and context of the National Development Plan 2018- 2020 and related issues of public finance, with a view to promote efficient and coherent Government policy on national development and poverty alleviation,” he stated.
Whilst delivering the official opening address, the Speaker of the National Assembly Mariam Jack Denton, said the training is fundamental for members of the assembly; that a well-informed and skilled legislature will provide legitimate democratic scrutiny on executive policies for the country and proper check on the performance of Government institutions; that effective legislative action on the budget and related financial issues such as Audit processes and GPPA procedures, depend on the ability of NAMs to dissect the performance of activities financed with public funds, and the results ensuing from Government programs.
Speaker Denton further noted that it is pertinent for NAMs to be conversant with the National Development Plan because it envisages reforms which anchors on their shoulders; that such reforms include Constitutional review and the amendment of several existing Laws.
Daniel Cardos, Deputy Clerk, Legislative Business and Programmes who chaired the opening session, said the training is conducted early, so that NAMs can have adequate time to be better prepared to deal with the annual estimates and expenditures of Government thoroughly, and with due diligence.