Bojang, who is also the head of the public accounts and public enterprises committee (PAC/PEC), issued the stern warning following the tabling of the Auditor General’s Financial Report of the Gambia Government for the year ended 31 December 2011, which the joint committee members pointed out gross anomalies regarding the revenue and expenditure of the government.
“The joint session of the PAC/PEC having consider the report of the auditor general on the government of The Gambia financial statement for 2011, has noted the continuing failure of the PS Ministry of Finance to comply with the constitutional responsibility on The Gambia’s budget management as indicated in the auditor general’s report. Therefore, the PAC/PEC wants the PS Finance to work with the auditor general to address the issues highlighted in the report and the auditor general will update the PAC/PEC on the issue. The PAC/PEC wants to make it very clear that it will seriously frown on administrative lapses like the missing vouchers, payment without supporting documents, among others and will not hesitate to sanction responsible officials under you for negligence of duty,” Chairman Bojang told PS Jallow and his team of experts.
Expressing his displeasure to PS Jallow and his team, he said: “The Gambia is a tax-based economy, but even the tax we collect has recently dropped seriously. Foreign grants and aids recently did not flow in as much as we have been receiving them. The rainfall pattern over the years has been changing. Being an agricultural country, the amount has reduced thus leaving us with reduction in our agricultural output. All these we are saying is money. Now the little that we are in possession of we need to have it in the hands of a very responsible management team, which is under the Ministry of Finance and the administrative leader is the permanent secretary. The pressure on you, PS, is going to be multiplying each year. You are responsible for the national economy, and you will be seriously scrutinised than others. So the challenge on you as an individual leader is too heavy. Therefore, you must be watchful all around, to ensure effective and efficient work takes place. People under you are many, others cruel and smart but whomsoever does what as an individual we are going to see the PS as the head of the ministry.”
Fabakary Tombong Jatta, majority leader, also slammed the finance ministry saying that PAC/PEC found the report on its performance “very damning”.
“Payment vouchers of over D6 million were not presented for audit; payments for other charges totaling D2 million plus were made without adequate supporting documents, and loan documents amounting to D1.8 billion are not seen or presented among others,” he queried.
Fatou Mbaye, deputy speaker, and Lamin Jammeh, member for Illiasa, and Mam Cherno Jollow all raised issues on the report calling for greater transparency and accountability in the way government monies are spent.
However, despite members raising various queries, the joint session adopted the report of the Auditor General but he and PS Jallow are to reappear before the joint committee on 28 December 2014 to update the committee on issues raised earlier in the report.]]>