By Awa B. Bah
The Public Enterprise Committee (PEC) of the National Assembly, has warned the National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC), to appear on Wednesday June 4th 2018 before the Committee. The PECwarning came on Monday June 2nd 2018, when board of the nation’s Utility Company was absent for the second time.
Halifa Sallah, Chairperson of the PEC committee said that putting into consideration of the introduction of those clearly shows that the board was absent. The standing principle of the commit he said emphasized that no work can proceed in the absence of the board as the governing authority. He said that the anticipation of them is for the board to be present but it appears that something key is missing. This he said is the second time that such a messages is being transmitted that it is a requirement for the board of any public enterprise called to be present.
According to NAWEC officials present, the message for the board to appears before the PEC was well filtered to the board but they wouldn’t know why their absence.
The committee in putting down to resolve the issue, they assembled as a committee calling for the board to appear on Wednesday 4th June 2018. They agreed that a warning letter will be addressed to NAWEC board clearing stating that failure to appear after several notice will always constitute a high court order. Halifa put it is important for their partners to know the PEC committee will be seen ineffective if they continue to summoned meetings without boards of public institutions. This he said contributed negatively in the past regime as people hardly recognized the powers of the PEC committee. The committee he emphasized that the committee has the powers of the high court to summon in witnesses for financial reports when needed. Sallah said that failure to appear would constitute contempt of the committee just like any high court. He said that under the criminal justice system, the president is liable to certain penalties and even being forced to appear before the committee with possible reprimanded. This he said are measure that they hope not to exercise because what they are all here for is the only Gambia. The committee he said is not a watchdog but here to help for the running of public institutions to be responsible and successful ones so that the country will benefit. He noted that there is no contradiction in terms of interest since the interest is for their institutions to work in the way that is stipulated by the law and standards of best practice which will serve the national interest. Sallah called for more cooperation from public enterprise institution. He called on the Managing Director to convey to NAWEC board that the committee he said has powers to use force so that the work of scrutinizing will be effective without fear. He noted that the board should know that it is the governing authority and that their absence is not in their best interest.