By Tabora Bojang
Presenting the 2019-2021 report of the Finance and Public Accounts Committee of the National Assembly Monday, vice chairman Alhagie Mbow reported that although it is the Accountant General’s department that is mandated by law to be responsible for revenue collection from all sources, “payments for the Securiport and scanning fees at the airport are collected by third parties.”
Asked by Minority Leader Alhagie S Darboe of Brikama North to explain what third party collections may entail, Mbow replied: “With the third-party collections, the example I can give is the Securiport collections at the [Banjul] airport. The accountant general’s office is mandated to collect every penny that belongs to the Gambia government. So, nobody has authority to make any collections on behalf of the government unless and until the person or authority has been delegated to do so by the Accountant General. So, we as parliament must ensure that that right must not be taken by anybody. This is by law from the Public Finance Act 2014. So, if somebody else is collecting [levies] on behalf of the government it is against the law and they need to correct that as soon as possible to make sure that the Accountant General takes charge of the duties given to them by law just like they are doing at the Senegambia Bridge.”
The committee further recommended to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs to ensure that revenue collection by third parties is stopped by the end of 2021 and handed over to Accountant General’s Department.