The National Assembly recently sensitized journalists on their roles and oversight functions of the National Assembly in national budget development and execution processes. The virtual briefing session was attended by a total of 20 journalists from the print, broadcast and online media houses across the country was held on 17th December, 2020.
The session was organised by the Gambia Press Union as part of efforts to get journalists au fait with national budget development, execution and oversight processes. It is part of a project supported by the International Republican Institute (IRI) geared towards promoting fiscal transparency and accountability in The Gambia.
GPU Program Manager Lamin Jahateh said the sessions with the National Assembly were organized to serve as a platform for the National Assembly to explain their roles and responsibilities in the entire national budget development and execution processes.
Similar engagements were organized with the Accountant General’s Department and the Central Bank of The Gambia in October. The main objective, he said, is to enhance the understanding of journalists and increase the coverage of budgetary issues.
Apart from the briefing sessions, Jahateh said the IRI project is also supporting the GPU to provide financial and technical support to journalists to report on the national budget with a view to increase the dissemination of public information on the budget.
Mr Buba Jatta deputy clerk deputy at the National Assembly said that, the session is very important and timely as the National Assembly continues on its reform process of bringing the National Assembly closer to the people and for journalists to play a critical role in the process.
Jatta added, the key function of the National Assembly is to exercise oversight and scrutiny on the Executive on public spending and also serve as a scrutiny of policy measures and executive conduct through its Committees.
Landing Jobe, Director of Committees said that the mandate of the committee is informed by the constitution and the parliamentary committees are organs that carry great deal of work for parliamentarians, thus enabling the assembly to organize its work and perform activities expeditiously, he said. Adding that, committees are small groups of members, that facilitate and advice the plenary with recommendations in a form of reports to the plenary for adoption.