By Joseph Johnson
Speaker of Sierra Leone Parliament, Dr. Abass ChernorBundu has announced that the House has endorsed one of the recommendations made by Civil Society Organisations to have a desk in parliament that is meant for Civil Society.
Speaker Bundu, made the announcement during the official opening of the Civil Society Engagement Forum in Committee Room One, Parliament Building.
Speaker Bundu maintained that the engagement is geared toward fashioning the terms and condition that will be in the document for the CSO desk in parliament.
The document among other things entails the need for a CSO desk to be stationed in parliament. The UNDP technical representative in parliament, Hon. Jariatu Smith said that the realisation of the CSO desk will help in strengthening accountability and transparency process in parliament.
She also encouraged Civil Society Organisations to help parliament to share ideas to constituents and MPs on bills and agreements before being passed, “it is not always about holding parliament accountable’’ she said.
Civil Society Representative, Abu Briama expressed hope that the engagement should have fruitful results in bringing out coordinated and structured process. He added that civil society organisations are looking forward to the full implementation of the communiqué.
Other stakeholders like Leader of Government Business, Hon. Mathew Nyuma, Hon. Zainab Catherine Tarawallie and the Director General of Parliament expressed hope in the outcome of the engagement while assuring that Parliament should serve a role model in governance, adding that the engagement is not a talk shop because it will build on the relationship parliament and its representatives. He ended up assuring CSOs of their support.
The civil society engagement forum was borne out of the memorandum of understanding signed between Parliament and Civil Society Organisations in August last year which had series of recommendations for endorsement by parliament.