In his opening remarks, the EU Head of delegation to Sierra Leone: H.E. Ambassador Tom Vens said that the EU is engaged in working with the Parliament of Sierra Leone through the Technical Assistance on Governance on a number of topics ranging from legislative reform, Committee oversight to gender equality as part of the Parliament’s strategic plan. Ambassador Vens asserted that the EU wants to work with Parliament and not to lead it. He said the EU’s team of technical experts to Sierra Leone would explore the needs of Parliament, prioritize and design interventions, and support Parliament in implementing the agreed interventions. He added that EU wants all processes and result to be owned by Parliament from day one to the end. He called upon the Leadership of Parliament to ensure that there is more coordination and collaboration among its partners operating at Parliament and within its various departments. “That is the only way we can optimize our investment and add value to the fifth session of Parliament,” he guaranteed.
Whiles commending the EU, Deputy Chairman of PAC, Hon. Lahai Marah said that PAC is the pillar of parliamentary accountability, adding that this pillar is rested on the shoulder of MPs. He added that accountability, transparency and value for money in the use of public funds are essential elements for any successful Government. He said that scrutinizing the government expenditure is widely regarded as one of the key functions of Parliament, enlightening that, it is on this backdrop that PAC and other similar Committees are created, adding that the objective of PAC is to identify cases of inefficiencies and mismanagement, and to establish the root causes and develop recommendations for improvement in the management of public funds.
He said that the workshop would provide a platform to discuss a wide spectrum of subjects relating to the work of PAC, including, how to conduct effective analysis of the Auditor General’s Report, effective organization of PAC, the role of PAC in disaster management, best standard practice, challenges, expectation of citizens on PAC, and so on.
The three days training program will focus on; effective organization of Public Accounts Committees and PAC business processes, conducting effective analysis’s of the Auditor General Report by PAC, developing a good working relationship with the Auditor General’s Office and the role of PAC in disaster management.