By Ragan M. Conteh
Members of Parliament of both the Opposition and ruling parties are all set to commence a three day debate on the 2018 Auditor General’s Report that was tabled in the Well of Parliament on Wednesday 18th December 2019 by the Sierra Leone’s Auditor General Lara Taylor Pearce.
MPs will use the allotted three days to look at the reports including the financial and procurement and other critical grey areas as mentioned in the report.
MPs during the laying of the document at the Well unanimously voted in support of a Motion raised by Hon. Ibrahim Tawa Conteh, for the Auditor General’s Report to be first debated in the Well of Parliament before sending it to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
The normal practice over the years in Parliament was to first send the report to PAC before laying it before the house for debate.
During the laying out ceremony of the document, Hon. Titus Kamara, Deputy Chairman Public Account Committee, moved a Motion citing sub section 5 of section 119 of the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone which says Parliament to debate the Auditor General’s Report before sending to it Public Account Committee.
Paramount Chief Member of Parliament, Bai Kurr Kanagbaro Sanka III, who was also second the motion informed members that for the sake of transparency and accountability, MPs should look at the document in the Well first before finally submit to PAC.
According to the Speaker, Hon Chernor Abass Bundu, there is a practice for which the Auditor General’s Report is sent to the Public Account Committee (PAC) to examine and report back to Parliament, which Hon PC Bai Kurr admitted to.
In other to follow the due procedure according to the Speaker Parliament should now go by what is legal, specifying Section 119 of the Constitution.
The Speaker however maintained “if that practice does not contradict the provision that Hon. PC Bai Kurr referring to, the debate will come later after we would have received the considered Report of the PAC and on that note the house however agreed to debate on the documents first before sending it to PAC.
By Ragan M. Conteh