Maria Dacosta, Chairperson Local Government Services Commission
By Ramatoulie Jawo
The Local Government Services Commission said the lack of own office space, and the 6-months allowances owed to its staff are among the challenges affecting its operations.
Maria Dacosta, Chairperson of the Commission said the commission is facing a lot of challenges when it comes to executing its mandate as expected.
“Since the establishment of the commission in 2019 up-to-date, we don’t have an office, which is affecting us as a Commission.We use the ministry’s halls to conduct their meeting. That’s why we normally have our meetings on Saturdays when people are resting at home,” she said.
Chairperson Dacosta acknowledged that the commission is “new” but added that from 2019 up-to-date, they were thinking things would change as time goes on, but the same challenges remain.
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“We are not paid salary. We normally received allawance but for 6 months now, we did not receive our allowances,” she disclosed.
Lamin A. Cessay, Vice-chair of the commission disclosed that the institution was not informed about the KMC saga, which he described as “very disappointing to them” as a local government commission.
He said as a commission, if they are not being involved in matters under their preview, they can’t work as expected.
The Chairman of the committee, Honourable Sulayman Jammeh assured the Local Government Services Commission that their problems would be addressed as his committee would try to find solutions to their challenges.
“All these challenges are news to me because I was thinking that whatsoever happens at the Councils are communicate to the commission, which is not happening,” he said.
NAM Alagie Babou Ceesay, a member of the committee said if these are the things going on at the commission then its independence is still questionable to him.
He said the commission needs to be equipped and empowered to deliver as expected.
The Sabach Sanjal NAM urged the commission members to be speaking up for the public to know what is happening at the commission .
The commission highlighted the challenges before the the National Assembly select committee on Local Government, Lands, Ombudsmen and IEC, while discussing the status of its operations since its establishment in 2019.