By Joseph Johnson
The Leader of Government Business in the House of Parliament Hon. Mathew Nyuma has said the house of parliament will take drastic action against committee chairmen who collected money for oversight and are yet to present reports will not be selected as chairmen for a committee.
Hon. Nyuma was speaking on a follow up on an announcement he made last week Monday 21st June 2021 giving committee chairmen who collected money during the third session for oversight and have not given a report on the said oversight. He said there is no way they as leaders will know if MPs have gone on oversight except through reports, adding that the reports form part of their role in ensuring MDAs live up to their promises or mandates. “If you have received money to carry out oversight without tendering a report, you have to account for the money”, he noted.
Hon. Mathew Nyuma also pointed out that oversight is part of the fundamental roles of members of parliament and it very important to ensure that this role is carried out backed up with a report that will be looked at to follow up on certain issues if need arises, “besides oversight reports are meant to be public document for citizens to know what MDAs are doing”, he added.
The Select or committee on Selection was constituted last week by the speaker of parliament, Dr. AbassBundu to constituting members into different committees and Hon. Mathew Nyuma stated that the leadership will look at that as a requirement to give committee chairmanship responsibility to members. “We will check with the clerk to find out those who collected money and did not do oversight and those who collected and went on oversight but have not submitted their reports”, Hon. Nyuma revealed. He added that they the grace period of one week is finished and he still stands by his warning. He noted that even though not all committees went on oversight, yet they will check with the Clerk of Parliament to find out those who took money but did not go will be dealt with accordingly by the leadership.
He revealed that the tune of 60 million leones and more was given to some chairmen during the last session for oversight and that they have to be responsible and accountable to taxpayers.
When asked if special committees like the Ethics and Privilege committee, a special committee on the Makeni saga, the Water Pollution at Bonthe and others are exempted because they are not standing committees. He noted that the privilege committee is not given money for oversight because it serves as a disciplinary committee for the internal affairs of parliament. He added that some of the MPs have apologised and they have settled their issues internally even though he did not reveal their names.
He concluded that the special committee on the water pollution is expected to present it report tomorrow. He reiterated that those who have collected money and are yet to present report should do so or they have themselves to blame emphasising the importance of oversight and also pointing out to how parliament was bashed at during the second session because of oversight.