In his welcome remarks, the Hon. Clerk of Parliament, Param Umar Tarawally said Parliament represents the people of Sierra Leone and in that light the leadership and PWG are working in consonance with the expectation of the 3rd National Action Plan (NAP3) of OGP. He noted that Parliament is one of biggest state institutions that can promote OGP through it’s operations and functions. Hon Param Umar Tarawally went on to highlight the commitments and mandates of the PWG ranging from transparency, accountability, gender, open parliament, public participation, accessibility and unique compositions of the select committees that formed part of the group. He used the opportunity to assure participants that they are operating in accordance with the OGP mandate and will fully implement the commitments in the 3rd National Action Plan.
“I have given special preference to the PWG and because of that, I am serving as Secretary to the group” Honorable Clerk reposed while complementing Westminster Foundation for Democracy for their support to parliament.
Speaking on behalf of OGP Global Steering Committee, Glynnis Cummings-John said Sierra Leone is regarded as one of the countries that are doing very well in the OGP. According to her, different governments are pushing for collective actions and Sierra Leone should entrench itself through the expected commitments in order to achieve more. “For Good Governance Sierra Leone is working progressively than many other countries” she maintained.
Giving an update on OGP, the Chairman of NaCCED, Kalilu Ibrahim Totangi said Sierra Leone was given accolades at the Global Summit held in Canada. “Among the three (3) countries that are members in Africa, Sierra Leone is serving at the Steering Committee” he disclosed, whilst informing that the OGP Sierra Leone Charter operates under NaCCED. He informed that President Bio had made a total commitment to lead the OGP process. He disclosed that 7 commitments have been set for the Third National Action Plan slated for implementation.
Also, the NaCCED Chairman disclosed that they were approached by Westminster Foundation for Democracy to include Parliament as part of the commitment and they soon added Open Parliament. He assured Parliament of being a strong ally in order to achieve the implementation of the commitments.
On his part, Chairman Political Party Registration Commission (PPRC) said they were in strong partnership with NaCCED in order to achieve Public Participation which is one of the outstanding commitments. He noted that sometimes they deal with strange situation and therefore they will ensure that they implement the various commitments.
During his presentation, Programme Coordinator WFD, Rev. Alusine Diamond-Suma said they supported Parliament to link with NaCCED in order to implement the aforesaid commitments. He informed that they work across the world to strength democracy and good governance and Parliament of Sierra Leone is one of the institutions they have been working with. He lauded the efforts of PWG with regards actions taken to move the commitments to a validation stage.
Another presentation done by the Head of ICT, Joseph Conteh who gave Parliament more accolades, especially in the area of accessibility and technological advancement.
The validation was climaxed by reaching a resolution that will make Parliament more accessible, open, educative, gender balance, implementation of a communication strategy, research amongst others commitments.