By Aji Fatou Faal
The Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs on Monday presented its policy statements on the accounts before deputies of the Finance Public Accounts Committee and Public Enterprises Committee (FPAC) of the National Assembly.
The presentations which were delivered by the permanent secretary, Lamin Camara, are expected to be securitized by lawmakers.
The respective committees do this annual work of public scrutiny under intense bright light without despicable personal attacks and their work has earned the committees a decent reputation over the past years.
Meanwhile, the Auditor General also presented Public Financial Management with matters of general concern to the Finance and Public Account Committee.
According to him, the inability of institutions to provide supporting documentation, information and explanations on a timely basis were most significant obstacle to their audits. “Our ability to secure evidence in support of all audit assertions but particularly the completeness, accuracy, and regularity of transactions included in the financial statements were impeded extending the period of audit considerably.”
“We have observed numerous instances of lack of adequate supporting documents to payment vouchers. Where payment vouchers are not supported with adequate documents, it is difficult to verify the accuracy of the payments.”
He stated that it is difficult for them to determine to what extent the lack of supporting documentation is an attempt to conceal fraud or misappropriation of funds and to what extent it is just poor record keeping.
Touray disclosed that the contingency fund is set up under the provisions of section 154 of the Constitution for the purposes of meeting unforeseen and urgent expenditure for which no other provision exists. He added that expenditures made from the contingency fund account during the audits; did not appear to be unforeseen and urgent expenditure. “We believe that most of the expenditures were a means of circumventing the approval mechanism of budgets by the National Assembly.”