Western province MPA induction programme disrupted due to allowance disagreement


THE workshop organised by the Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening for the members of the Western Provincial Assembly has been prematurely ended due to allowance and logistics disagreements.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Provincial Government called off the workshop yesterday though attempts were made by provincial executives and Western Provincial Administration to continue with the workshop.

The workshop came to a standstill on Thursday when MPAs bombarded the Ministry’s officials on the ground with comments surrounding logistics and allowances.

Premier Billy Veo was clear in his statement saying that the training is important for leaders of Western Province to deliver effective services and at the same time maintain clean operations in accordance to the minimum conditions provisions and performance measures provided for under the Provincial Government Institutional Strengthening Program.

“While it is true that there were no guideline given to MPAs for the travel arrangements to attend the meeting and MPAs were not aware of the logistical arrangement where respective MPAs have been allocated certain amount of money for their travel to Gizo for the meeting, the matter should be addressed amicably and let the workshop continue,” he said.

Chief Technical Advisor (CTA) under the Provincial Governance Strengthening Programme (PGSP) Momodou Lamin Sawaneh said the decision has already been made by the Ministry and that officers on the ground cannot do anything but to follow the decision.

He adds that next week’s presentations have also been cancelled. This means that the teams from OAG, Ombudsman’s Office, Leadership Code Commission and other have now been advised to cancel their planned sessions for next week.

“Unfortunately, we (the team facilitating the workshop) do not make decisions, we are implementers, and the decision makers is the Executive management of MPGIS.

“Since we do not bring ourselves here and the resources we are using are public resources, the decision to cut short the training is unfortunate.

“We appreciate the effort of the Premier, the Speaker, and the Provincial Secretary to discuss interventions as to how the training can be continued.

“We also appreciate the patience of the MPAs and Western Province’s Administration officials,” Sawaneh said.

He acknowledged the MPAs and officials for turning up during yesterday’s meeting for the final announcement and closing of the workshop.

In his final remarks, the Speaker of Western Province, Ramrakha Talasasa Jr said the Premier will liaise with the Ministry to see if there is a chance for the workshop to be conducted at another time.

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