Mr Touray carried out the audit exercise with his team of financial experts and found some financial irregularities in the audit among them payment vouchers for D6,129,930.24 which he said were not presented for audit in contravention of the Financial Instructions. During the year, payment for other charges totaling D2,073,017 were made without adequate supporting documents and funds amounting to D796,879.26 held for government in various commercial banks were not disclosed as cash balances in financial statements. Also, loan documents amounting to D1,813,841.000 were not presented for audit among others.
Presenting the management letter to PAC/PEC members containing his recommendations, implications and findings about the audit exercise, Mr Touray stated: “We recommended that these balances are included in the financial statements of the government to give a more accurate and complete picture of the financial statements. Documentary evidence of the account and its subsequent transfers to CRF should be provided for our verifications.”
His comments were in relation to the exclusion of the government funds at commercial banks in financial statements where AG Touray said a review of confirmations from the banks during the period of the audit reveals an amount totaling D796,879.26 held in various commercial banks which were not disclosed in financial statements.
This he added is in addition to commercial bank accounts totaling D17, 646,324.25 that were indentified in the prior year audit that remain undisclosed.
In reply, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Finance, Abdoulie Jallow said the Treasury Directorate was working hand-in-hand with the Ministry of Finance to get those accounts that are not for self-accounting projects close and their balances transferred to the CRF.
On the findings, AG Touray said: “We noted that virements were made to four budget line items for which no amount had been approved in the 2011 estimates of the revenue and expenditure. We also noted incidences where virements between budget lines exceeded the 75% threshold in violation of the previous of Budget Management and Accountability Act.”
On the implication of such, Touray said: “This is a serious disregard of the budgetary process.”
However, he recommend that no movement of funds be made to expenditure line items for which the National Assembly had approved no funds.
Responding, PS Jallow told PAC/PEC members that section 30 (5) of government Budget Management and Accountability Act, 2004 states that where the amounts vired exceeds the limit set under subsection (4), the approval of secretary of state (minister) is required.
“All virements were approved by the Minister. Therefore, there was no violation of GBMAA section 30(4).” Jallow, who was earlier on scrutinised on government spending said.
Commenting, Auditor General Touray noted: “Virements were made to budget lines not provided in the approved estimates for the year and no supplementary appropriation was approved. Allocations to new budget lines should require the approval of the National Assembly and not the minister.”
Meanwhile as reported earlier, PAC/PEC has issued an ultimatum to the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Finance and team to comply with joint parliamentary recommendations by 28 December or risk punishment or sanction.]]>