Chief Minister David Moinina Sengeh has introduced the National Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Agency Act 2024 in Sierra Leone’s Parliament, aiming to bolster accountability and transparency.
Sengeh highlighted that the legislation targets addressing accountability gaps and streamlining the monitoring of government projects.
He emphasized the need for effective evaluation activities, attributing past challenges to their absence. Sengeh assured MPs that the act intends to connect government projects with their beneficiaries.
During parliamentary discussions, concerns were raised about potential impacts on the wage bill.
Sengeh clarified that the act wouldn’t contribute to inflation but acknowledged a natural increase due to population growth and new hires. The debate, involving MPs from SLPP and APC, led to a unanimous call for transparency and accountability with the new M&E law in place.
Honourable Abdul Karim Kamara expressed concerns about job creation and increased salaries affecting the wage bill, suggesting existing agencies could handle similar functions.
Mariama Zombo praised the M&E Act’s timeliness and urged gender equity in agency staffing. Ibrahim Barrier raised fears of duplicating functions and unnecessary expenses, proposing strengthening existing oversight agencies.
Hon. Daniel Koroma clarified the opposition’s support for the bill but emphasized transcending party loyalties for effective service.
In conclusion, Hon. Matthew Sahr Nyuma countered claims of a bloated wage bill, urging MPs to endorse the M&E Act for enhanced openness and accountability.
Presiding over the session, Hon. Sengehpor Thomas assured MPs of the Public Account Committee’s commitment to addressing accountability matters, inviting them to witness PAC’s deliberations on the Auditor General’s report starting next Monday.