By Yusef Taylor, @FlexDan_YT
The National Assembly Member for Kombo South, Hon Kebba K Barrow has informed the Gambia Parliamentary Newsletter on how he spent his 2022 Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and his plans for 2023. The CDF is a central government annual allocation of D300,000 to all 53 elected parliamentarians to implement projects in their community.
First introduced in Parliament in 2021, National Assembly members (NAMs) access the funds by agreeing on the project to implement with their constituents and identify contractors to do the job. The Clerk then proceeds to handle all the financial payments with the contractor to execute the project.
2022 CDF Projects: Vegetable Seeds and Water Supply
Speaking about his 2022 CDF, Hon Barrow revealed that his “Kombo South project in 2022 was the provision of vegetable seeds for Sanyang Ward and Gunjur Ward and the provision of water supply for Kartong Ward”.
When asked about the implementation of the 2022 project, Hon Barrow revealed that “the name of the contractor is Modou Fatty from Rumba Village, Kombo South” and that the “name of the company is called Fatty Borehole Drilling”.
Hon Barrow noted that “drilling was completed a month and a half ago and [the borehole] is now in use by the Community. Our inspection team by the Parliament led by the internal auditor has just completed their visits to project sites”.
Asked to give an estimate of the number of people benefitting from the project, Hon Barrow explained that “the project is to serve the communities and will be difficult to give a number” of the number of people who benefitted from the project.
According to the former Majority Leader, the Gambia Public Procurement Act (GPPA) Regulations, dictates that “contractors for all Government project have to pay a withholding fee of 10%”. This means that the “total amount of funds disbursed to the contractor is D270,000” for each lawmaker to develop their constituency.
2023 CDF Plans: Boreholes for Sanyang Ward
Turning his attention to 2023, Hon Barrow informed our reporter that “this year’s project for Kombo South is a borehole for Mamuda and Sinchang Village in Sanyang Ward”.
The former Majority Leader who won his second term under the United Democratic Party (UDP) explained that “proposals for 2023 CDF will be submitted in the second quarter of 2023” and also outlined some additional procedures to access the CDF. He explains that a decision will be made on the project after consultation with his constituents when “decisions will be made on what projects will be identified”.
After a proposal is developed after consultation, submissions will be made to the Office of the Clerk who “will submit the proposal to the Contracts Committee for review” explained Hon Barrow. After the proposal meets all the criteria for approval it is then “forwarded to the procurement unit to start preparing the contract documents for the implementation of the project” says Hon Barrow.