Parliament must be accountable!
Accountability and Transparency are key components of democracy and good governance. Governments around the globe have always used these twin terms in their campaign manifestos to make them look good in the eyes and estimation of particularly international development partners by way of ensuring them that their monies would be spent prudently.
Internally, these concepts have little or no appealing power to the local population even though government business is significantly financed by tax payers. Unaccountability and lack of transparency has been a canker worm in the fabric of good governance and development, which can be largely attributed to the widespread poverty ravaging the lives of Sierra Leoneans.
In fact, we are of the conviction that being unaccountable and not transparent is a factor of corruption which should be fought tooth and nail. Despite mechanisms and institutions such as internal and external auditing to ensure transparency and accountability, government officials continue to be deeply indulged in the unhealthy practice of doing business in blatant violation of processes and procedures and fiscal controls.
Just recently, the Director of Audit in the Ministry of Finance raised serious concerns about the lack of proper book-keeping and records in Ministries, Departments and Agencies as well as the negative attitude and behaviour of Management towards internal auditors.
But more startling is the concern being raised by the Leader of Government Business in the House of Parliament, calling on his colleague Parliamentarians to be accountable for monies they received to perform Oversight functions. This no doubt suggests that our law makers need to do more as role models in complying with the concepts of transparency and accountability.
Recently, certain MPs were penalized by the Leadership for openly pointing accusing fingers at the dubious activities in the Honuorable House. As trustees of the people, we hereby add our unreserved voice in urging our representatives in Parliament to account to the people who elected them and maintain the integrity of the House by resisting any temptation to be corrupt.
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