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Lawmakers unhappy with FCC

February 21, 2020

By Jariatu S. Bangura

FCC Chief Administrator, Festus Kallay

Members of the Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Local Government and Rural Development yesterday stood down the hearing of the Freetown City Council (FCC) after a majority of its essential staff failed to appear before the committee.

According to the Clerk of the Committee, Kemoh Marah, a summon letter was sent to the FCC sometimes last year, but that they couldn’t respond to it, thus noting that the municipal council lacks respect for the committee.

Chairman of the committee, Hon. Musa Fofanah, re-echoed that the committee felt letdown by the attitude of the council, stating that most of the sectorial heads of the devolved functions were conspicuously absent from the hearing.

“We will have to stand down this hearing because the council has no regard for us as a committee and Parliament by extension. The Chief Administrator, who is the Vault Controller is late, no documents or status report was submitted. In fact, even the few that are here came very late. The FCC is behaving just like the way Local Government Ministry is doing and we wouldn’t have a second thought to make a submission to the whole House on your behaviour,” he said.

He said the committee had wanted to know the numerous challenges faced by councils across the country and FCC was not an exception.

“But if you don’t want to treat us seriously then, we can’t go further with this meeting,” he said.

Also, other committee members expressed dissatisfaction over the Council’s disregard for the committee, saying that the meeting has been rescheduled thrice, yet the Sectorial Heads were not present as stated in the summon letter.

They said if they were to look into the work of the council, Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyer, who was present in the meeting, could not be the actual authority to give account because she is not the Vault Controller.

The Mayor, however, apologised on behalf of her staff, stating that the correspondence they received did not only summon the sectorial heads, but also requested her presence.

She added that she had really wanted to meet with the committee to discuss several issues pertaining to the council’s work.

The Chief Administrator, Festus Kallay, told the committee that they arrived late at the meeting because they were trying to print out some supporting documents and the status report that was expected to be tendered before the committee.

In the end, the committee agreed to adjourn the session for them to peruse the council’s report and supporting documents presented.

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