What has been termed as one of the greatest embarrassment for the Disability Commission happened yesterday when Chairman and Chief Commissioner Frederick Kamara was stood down by the Honourable Members of Parliament who were exasperated with the Commission being unable to submit complete financial documents. They were driven away and ordered to go prepare better as their financial submissions for 2016 and 2017 were inconclusive and shabby.
The Commission, as with other government institutions have been summoned to defend their Budget to Parliament during public hearings. The Disability Commission faced the Parliamentary sub-appropriation committee Number three but could not convince the parliamentarians that they deserved to receive any money in 2018 as their reports on how they spent monies received were shabbily prepared.
Meanwhile, even from the incomplete documents submitted it has emerged that the Executive Secretary of the Commission Mr. Saa Kortequee received on behalf of Disable Persons, the whopping sum of almost Le1.7BILLION in 2016. This is hundreds of millions more than the Le1.3Billion that had been initially floated as unaccounted for.
Since their documents were rejected for being shabbily prepared with missing papers, the expenditure of how the almost 1.7 billion leones was spent last year 2016 is still yet unknown.
A senior member of the committee Hon Dauda Kallon of Western Area said that the commission should prepare to give a detailed account for all the money it received in 2016 and also give detailed documentation of what was its opening balance for the year 2017.
Hon. Dauda Kallon blasted that the NCPD was provided with tax payers’ money to run and Parliament wants to know how those monies were utilized.
Hon. Amadu Kanu from Moyamba who is the Chairman of that Committee said that the documents tendered by the NCPD were shabbily prepared and were not even signed and as a result, he said those documents were rejected as they were not properly brought before Parliament.
All the Parliamentarians therefore warned the Disability Commission to go back, better prepare proper financials that were signed and return with the proper documentation no later than the morning of Monday 13th November, 2017.
In his rambling defense, the Chairman of NCPD, Mr. Frederick J. M. Kamara waffled all over the place without addressing why he went with incomplete documents. In his rambles, he complained that the Honourable Minister of Social Welfare Gender and Children's Affairs Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden has instructed the Accountant General to not give them funding for 2017 because they submitted financial requests without her approved signature.
At this point, Hon. Amadu Kanu scolded Frederick Kamara. Hon. Kanu told Kamara that Parliament has been observing in the media as the NCPD is crying all over the place of not being funded but he pointed out that it is the very same reason of lack of accountability and why it could not compile proper convincing documents for Parliament, that has led to the Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden to read the riot act against their Commission.
The chairman, Hon. Kanu then advised the Commissioner about the need for them to remove their ego and go and sincerely apologize to Minister Blyden. He said that Parliament is planning to invite the necessary stakeholders in order to put this issue to rest finally.
Notwithstanding the Disability Commission promising to apologize to Hon. Minister Blyden but in the area of provision of documents, Parliament has said it will not proceed with the budget hearing into the Disability Commission budget for 2018 until the NCPD comes with correct documents on how it spends tax payers’ money. They sternly warned that this should be no later than morning of Monday 13th November 2017 and it should have a comprehensive breakdown of how almost 1.7 billion leones was spent last year by the Disability Commission.