AUDIT DEMANDS EXPLANATION FOR D18M ‘USED’ AS FARABA VICTIMS’ COMPENSATION

AUDIT DEMANDS EXPLANATION FOR D18M ‘USED’ AS FARABA VICTIMS’ COMPENSATION

In its 2020 annual audit report, the National Audit Office has said it was unable to make an independent assessment of how D18, 271, 59, claimed to be spent on compensations of victims of the Faraba incident, was used.

In June 2018, a fracas broke out between youths of Faraba and officers of the Police Intervention Unit during which 3 people who were among a group protesting against sand mining were shot and killed by the PIU. Dozens were also injured and many properties damaged.

The president established a commission to look into the incident which submitted its report recommending among other things, monetary compensation to the victims’ families.

In 2019, the government issued a statement that it has accepted a D1 million compensation to each of the families of the 3 civilians killed in the incident while noting that the committee tasked to look into the commission’s report would also review cases of injuries and property damages to determine appropriate compensation.

But the Auditor General’s report on the 2020 accounts of the government stated that the government has failed to submit all relevant documents and other evidence necessary to confirm if the D18.2 million claimed compensations were made with proper supporting documents.

The auditors recommended that the Attorney General in collaboration with the relevant office’s furnish the audit team with details such as names, correspondence to the mobile numbers, house names if any, mothers and fathers name and current residence of those said to be compensated.

Last week, the chairman of parliament’s Finance and Public Accounts Committee Alagie S Darboe, said these audit findings on the Faraba incident remain unresolved in the audit report and asked for explanations from the deputy Accountant General, Clara Saine.

Ms Saine told lawmakers that the Ministry of Justice has been engaged to provide the relevant information during the audit but they are yet to make any submissions.

“And after the completion of the audit, we engaged the Ministry of Justice requesting that they provide this information but we are yet to receive anything,” deputy AG Saine submitted. 

The committee is expected to present its report before the plenary with recommendations and resolutions on the Auditor General’s findings.

Source: The Standard

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