Gov’t neglects Opposition Office: Wale


OPPOSITION Leader Matthew Wale has urged Government to support his office with more resources to provide its “check and balance” role more effectively.

Speaking in response to the Speech from the Throne in Parliament yesterday, Mr Wale said the role of the Opposition office is important to our democracy.

He said it is unfortunate that the office has been neglected for so long.

“The office is an important part of our parliamentary supervision of the executive government, as well as providing alternative views on policy and strategies.

“It needs to be resourced to fulfill its responsibilities effectively,” he said.

Wale said its human resource establishment, office space and facilities, and its access to information in executive government are important to making the office effective in discharging its responsibilities.

Furthermore, Wale said Executive government must not operate on the mode of secrecy as its default modus operandi.

He said this requires a shift in mindset.

“We govern on behalf of the people, exercising public powers and expending public resources.

“None of these matters are private to any individual or group of individuals. Therefore, it is important to building and maintaining public trust that there is open government, that people are able to see the how and why of decisions made on their behalf and in their name,” he said.

“Of course, there is need for confidentiality and secrecy also in some matters, but these should be by deliberate choice determined by the nature of the matters involved – it should be the exception not the rule.

“Let’s continue reforms to open government more, it will make for better decision making and governance,” he said.

Furthermore, Wale said it is important that the independence of parliament is further enhanced.

“I did not hear anything on this in His Excellency’s Speech.

“However, parliament needs to operate on its own calendar to give certainty for the transaction of its business and give effect to its oversight responsibilities,” he said.

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