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City of Banjul
Friday, January 22, 2021

AUDITOR GENERAL SAYS UTG HAS QUESTIONS TO ANSWER

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The report covers the period 1 January to 31 December 2012, and UTG as well as other affected public institutions are to be grilled on the findings by the PAC/ PEC today.

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The auditor general, Mr Karamba Touray, stated: “Examination of payment vouchers revealed that 41 payments were not presented for audit up until the time of writing this report. We could not therefore confirm the authenticity of the payments made thereof. The implications are that payment vouchers not presented for audit verification will cast doubt on whether those payments were genuine. The review of payment vouchers also revealed that 6 payments totalling D134, 180 were made without being supported by either receipt of signatures of recipients to serve as evidence of receiving the said amounts. 

“In the absence of receipts of the signatures of recipients on the payment vouchers, we could not ascertain whether the payments were actually made and/ or received by the payees as claimed. Further review of the non-current asset register revealed out of 200 netbook laptops purchased in 2011, 19 netbook laptops were not accounted for as the recipients were not identified. The total cost of these 19 netbook laptops was $24, 510. There is an increased risk that the unaccounted 19 laptops missing may not be recovered as the recipients might not be established.

“Review of the payment vouchers revealed that 35 payments totalling D1, 458, 732 were made without adequate documentation being attached to the payment vouchers. These payments were made in contravention of the above sections of the Financial Instructions. The implications are that payment vouchers that are not accompanied with all relevant supporting documents cannot be accepted as genuine payments from the funds of the University of The Gambia.”

He added: “During the audit, we noted that oversees travelling allowances totalling D421, 078 were paid to officers that lack adequate documentation. There were instances where purposes of trips were not specified and/or invitation letters from host organisations were missing from payment vouchers. In the absence of invitation or acceptance letters, such payments might cast doubts over their authenticity. 

“During the audit, we noted that the deputy Vice Chancellor is responsible for overseeing the overall financial operation of the university. The finance director reports to the deputy Vice Chancellor contrary to Section 14 (1C) of the University Act… There is no documental evidence that the Vice Chancellor has delegated this role to the deputy Vice Chancellor. The implication is that there is a risk of non-compliance with regulations which may lead to irregularities. During the review of payment vouchers, we noted 32 payments amounting to D2, 272, 843 in respect of procurement of goods and services. 

“These procurements have exceeded the GPPA threshold required for singe quotation and should therefore be subjected to competitive bidding as stipulated in Section 45(1) (a) of the GPPA Act which sets competitive thresholds at D10, 000 for goods and services, and D30, 000 for works.” 

 The audit report also revealed some irregularities in the process of vacancy advertisements and applications at the university.  

The auditor general explained: “We also noted that seventeen (17) appointments were made for which no evidence of advertisements was provided. Nineteen (19) appointments were made for which no evidence of interview was provided. There were no interview assessment reports on file suggesting that the appointment were either head hunted or that mass appointments took place without job interviews. There is no evidence of interview assessment reports by the interview panel of the preferred applicants. 

“Nine (9) staff were promoted in 2011 and 2012 but evidence of recommendation by the appointment and promotion committee was not provided. The academic staff promoted did not complete the appraisal and promotion application form but instead wrote correspondence indicating their need for promotion. There is no evidence that these promoted staff were subjected to appraisal by individual departments or units’ appraisal committee concerned before promotions were made. Appointments would not seem to be transparent if vacancies did not go through the advertisement process either internally or externally.”

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