Parliamentary Committee on Finance Pledges to Empower Stats SL on Accreditation of Official Statistics
The parliamentary committee on finance has unanimously agreed on the need to empower Stats SL so that it will be by law that Stats SL accredits the generation of official statistics by MDAs, NGOs and other institutions either through working with Stats SL or paying a fee for reviewing and accrediting research and surveys that aim to produce official statistics for Sierra Leone.
This was recommended by the committee on Friday 29th November 2019 during the review of the budgetary estimates of 2018 and 2019 sitting at committee room no. 1 in the house of parliament. The Chairman Of the committee, Hon. Dixon Rogers picked up the issue as a critical factor that will ensure that key Policies and Programs in Sierra Leone are guided by credible data and official statistics especially when the current situation sees the proliferation and most times questionable statistics by several institutions and other MDAs who he says just independently conduct surveys bearing on Sierra Leone and its people without recourse to the official government body charged to produce official statistics.
In that vein, Hon Sahr Charles of the C4C party, said that parliamentary support to grant the requisite powers to Stats SL will certainly come but that the onus lies on Stats SL to draft the document and present to parliament so that it can be passed into law. He therefore urged the management of Stats SL to do all it can to bring the draft to parliament whilst adding that the committee will have it as part of its recommendations to the house
In the same light, after looking at the budgetary allocation that was given to Stats SL in the 2020 budget, which is far less than its 2019 budgetary allocation, the entire committee undividedly agreed that considering the nature of the job that statistics does in informing key decisions in the country, it is but fitting that the committee recommends that the budgetary allocation for Stats SL be increased .The committee therefore resolved to have an increase in Stats SL budgetary allocation as one of its other key recommendations to the house
When asked to update the committee especially on the terminal benefits of previously employed staff, the Statistician-General Professor Osman Sankoh, informed the committee that when the terminations were made, he himself personally went and had discussions with the finance ministry as well as that of the accountant general’s office. He went further to inform the committee that the Ministry of Finance has now paid all terminal benefits due to all former staff of stats SL who were previously employed much to the delight of the entire committee
The session closed with the committee expressing great satisfaction at the fiscal discipline and financial prudence demonstrated by Stats SL in managing its previous budget and for which the committee said that they are guaranteed that funds given to Stats SL will certainly be in safe hands
Other notable members of the committee who made input included Hon Mohamed Bangura of Karene District and Hon. Abdul Sulaiman Marray Conteh
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