By Ramatoulie Jawo
The National Assembly Standing Committee on Public Petition on Saturday held its maiden public consultative forum with partners.
During his opening remarks, the chairperson of the committee, Hon. Sunkary Badjie said the committee cannot fulfill its mandate without the media and the CSOs.
He said the media and the CSOs could help the committee to inform the public to know the work of the committee so that they would know how to address petitions to the committee.
Hon Alhagie Jawara, a member of the committee made some presentations on the admissibility criteria of a petition to the committee.
He said a petition can’t be admissible, if it is not on a subject of public concern, among others.
Madi Jobateh, country representative for the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) said the public should know the mandate of the National Assembly, especially the petition committee.
“We want to bring the people close to the National Assembly, and also bring the National Assembly close to the people; especially the public petition committee because they are there for the general public. So it will be very important if the people know what their mandate is because if the general public don’t know the mandate of the committee they will not be able to take petition there, and if the committee don’t receive petitions from the public their work will not be useful,” he said.
The National Assembly Public Petition Committee was established by the fifth Legislature in 2020, to deal with public petitions in the country. Since its establishment, it has received 11 petitions, of which three were admissible and dealt with successfully.
Currently, the committee is considering the petition by the Gambia Tourism Board Staff against the management.
The National Assembly Standing Order 125 (1) a, b, and c mandated the Public Petition Committee to consider public petitions addressed to the Assembly; decide in cases of dispute or admissibility; and keep under review the public petitions systems.
Other members of the committee include Member for Lower Badibou, Alhagie S. Jawara; Member for Wuli East, Swaibou Touray; and Nominated Member, Ndey Yasin Secka.
The maiden public consultative forumby the committee held at a local hotel in Bijilo, brought together the media, Civil Society Organisations(CSOs) and Councillors, among others.