The chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission, who uncharacteristically showed up before the scrutinizing body of the National Assembly alone, has been asked to go back until April when he would appear before PAC/PEC with his management team.
The Public Accounts and Public Enterprise Committees of the law making body scrutinize the audit and activity reports of public institutions in order to ensure good financial management and efficient public service administration but it does so with the presence of key officials like internal auditor, finance director and executive chiefs.
However, Mustapha L Carayol has appeared before PAC/PEC without an accompanying partner from the election house whom, he claimed, were all out helping in the current registration process being carried out by the IEC.
“I don’t know what you have to explain to the members with regards to why you have decided to come alone,” Tombong Jatta, the majority leader who was chairing the sittings, requested.
Carayol said 95% of his staff were out in the field as part of their recent voters’ registration and replacement exercise being carried out by the election house.
“You are all aware that the Independent Electoral Commission has embarked on a voters’ registration and replacement exercise countrywide… 95% of the staff of IEC are all in the field… even our commissioners and directors are all in the field…,” he said.
“I was also in the field and by today I should have been in Mansakonko… This exercise is very complex and sensitive…We are appealing to this august body to defer our appearance to April because registration started on the 14 and it will end on the 12 or March.”
In response to the IEC boss, Tombong Jatta said:
“While we appreciate your efforts in going about the supplementary voters’ registration to empower Gambians to exercise their civic rights in determining their leadership, we are also concern that there are basic requirements to be met before appearing before PAC/PEC, and we circulated our briefings in September and if institutions are having problems with that, they should have contacted the office of the clerk to make possible amendments for their appearance. It is unfortunate because as busy as you maybe, if the IEC chairman can present itself, I think the accountant and other officials should be able to present themselves… In this circumstance, we cannot allow you to make your submission.”