By: Nyima Sillah
On Wednesday, the Geneva Centre for Security Governance (DCAF) began a three-day training for members of the National Assembly Members on Defense and Security (SCDS) on Budget review and analysis.
The training seeks to promote the increase of monitoring activities of security sector institutions.
In his opening remark, Irving Vidal, Deputy Head of the DCAF Office, said budget analysis is critical for the National Assembly, especially for the standing committee for defense and security.
He noted that receiving the report and information is critical to producing a thorough budget analysis as it should be commensurate with the government’s development priorities.
“The Gambia is a great country with warm welcoming people. But due to the current global crisis, it has its priorities. However, it is also known that the security sector reform process is under-budgeted,” Mr. Irving said.
The training, he added, will serve as an excellent opportunity for the standing committee for defense and security as a sensitization session to have more tools available to review this and have a broader perspective.
“This three-day workshop on annual reporting of the security institutions and ministries will achieve a comprehensive budget review and analysis for efficient use of the fund for maximum impact and to guide all relevant institutions.”
Seedy S.K Njie, Deputy Speaker and Chairperson of the standing committee on Defence and Security, acknowledged that the training will no doubt enhance the capacity of Members of the security and defense committee with the required skills to better understand, review, scrutinize reports and budgets of security Institutions.
“The government of The Gambia annually spends huge sums of taxpayer’s money on security and security-related equipment. However, reports and budgets of security institutions are usually classified in such a way that it is very difficult to review and analyze them to make informed decisions.
“Therefore, this training will provide the committee the rare opportunity to understand security sector budgeting as well as analytical skills to conduct effective scrutiny and oversight over the sector,” he pointed out.
He also said the training is timely as it comes at a time when the government is preparing the 2023 budget estimates for consideration and approval by the National Assembly.