By Kebba AF Touray
Deputies at the National Assembly have adopted the report on the oversight activities of the Select Committee on Local Government.
The visit was meant to investigate the activities of Departments of the Government by engaging institutions with a view to assess their compliance to audit queries, procurement regulations, administrative compliance, major achievements and challenges, in order to chart a way forward.
Sunkary Badgie, in presenting the report, said the visit took the form of an interface with Area Councils to gauge their service and operational levels in order to ensure efficient and effective service delivery to the people.
He said the visited sites indicate their limited resource base, lack of mobility and human resource capacity, lack of water facilities, inadequate Government subvention, meager Council allowances or no salaries among others, as constraints affecting them.
He however highlighted the rehabilitation of Kaur Market by the Council of that area, the construction of a shed in Lamin Koto, and the construction of an open market and multipurpose center at Dankunku, as some of the major achievements registered by the Councils.
He said the Committee thus recommended but did not limit the following, as the way forward: training for both Staff and Councillors; harmonization of various Local Government Acts by the Ministry to allow Councils to assume their eroded revenue resources; provision of basic amenities to Public markets by the Councils; putting in place effective and efficient tax collection and internal financial control mechanisms; the Central Government to fulfill its subvention and grant obligations to the Councils, and to reconsider the poor salaries and allowances of both staff and Ward Councillors.
After a lengthy scrutiny, the report was accorded the blessing of Lawmakers.