32 C
City of Banjul
Thursday, October 1, 2020

Finance PS quizzed on gov’t audited accounts

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After nearly two hours of answering queries on matters ranging from the misuse of government contingency funds, un-presented payment vouchers, payment vouchers without supporting documentations, material overdue loans to Gambia International Airline, non-retirement of imprests on time and information on Gamtel/Gamcel 50% sale, the members said not everything has been cleared. However, they adopted the report.

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Fatou Mbaye, the deputy speaker said: “Unfortunately, we have discovered that some of the responses that you have provided were not specific and adequate and when recommendations are made, we would like to see actions being taken. The other issue is the misuse of contingency funds. You have told us in your response that you have taken note of these observations and taken measures by strengthening and monitoring expenditures. We would like to know what decisions you have taken to strengthen and monitor the expenditures, and in addition to that how these decisions are communicated to relevant staff and what monitoring mechanism you have put in place to ensure adherence to these directives.

“The other question is the material overdue loan to Gambia International Airline where you have provided responses that you have netting-off arrangements with GIA against the air tickets that government owed to GIA, we would like to know the details of netting-off and any outstanding balance GIA owes to the government.  The last question is non-retirement of imprests on time. We would like to know the imprests that are already retired and those that are not retired and why you have to wait until 2014 to notify those who have not retired their imprests by the end of 2014?” 

In reply, Mr Jallow said: “On the issue of the contingency funds when the issues were raised we advised our accountant not to make any expenditure without formal authorisation. I have discussed with the director of internal audit… On the netting-off arrangement with GIA, the information is available. We can share it with the members on Thursday. On the imprests, we intend to update the outstanding imprest holders after our session on Thursday so that we can get a more updated outstanding imprest list. It is not too late because 80 to 90% of the imprests we have issued should be retired within two weeks or one month and we are talking about imprests that are overdue as late as 2008.”

For his part, the accountant general, Modou Lamin Bah, said: “We have communicated to the sectors to retire their imprests. Several communications have been sent to several heads of departments about the retirement of imprests. “

Fabakary Tombong Jatta, House majority leader, Lamin Kebba Jammeh of Illiasa, Lamin Jadama of Niamina West,  Samba Jallow of Niamina Dankunku and Muhammed Magassy of Basse all raised issues.

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