Parliament sets up committee to probe NGOs
Freetown, March 27 (SLENA) – This past Tuesday, parliament set up an eight man committee to investigate non-governmental organizations and civil society organizations for monies that were spent.
It will be recalled that parliament recently announced its intention to investigate organizations. Rightly so, during Tuesday’s sittings the special Select Committee was read out to be headed by the Chief Whip, Hon. Claude Kamanda.
Making his statement before the names of the committee members were read out, Leader of the House, Hon Ibrahim Bundu gave a background of the formation of NGOs/CSOs, stressing the need for them to be responsible and accountable, noting that with greater visibility and influence comes responsibility.
He said as their influence increased with the volume of resource they manage, some donors, including the government, corporations and international agencies would raise questions about the effectiveness of these NGOs and the legitimacy of their advocacy.
The leader said it should be noted that the call from donor governments and agencies came especially in response to demands from their tax payers to justify whether they use their resources effectively and efficiently, or whether they give value for money.
He said it is important to note that the United Nations has also recognized the need for NGO accountability as indicated in the “development dossiers” published by the “UN- Non-Governmental Liaison Service”2006.
The House leader also highlighted the need for parliamentary oversight and NGO accountability, saying the call conforms with international best practice in the area of NGO relationship with governments (at national and local levels) and with community members as key stakeholders.
He noted that the call for NGO accountability by donor governments and their agencies and citizens is now a normal practice and condition for funding.
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