Vital gov’t institutions to face IGP, says FPAC

Vital gov’t institutions to face IGP, says FPAC

The Finance and Public Accounts Committee (FPAC) has officially tasked the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to launch an investigation into some key government institutions in the country over mismanagement of Covid-19 funds and other offences.

The institutions to be investigated include the Ministry of Health (MoH), the Grant Management Committee (GMC), the Gambia Tourism Board, the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), the Kuntaur Area Council, and the Statistical General.  

It would be recalled that the National Assembly resolved and made recommendations to various governmental institutions on FPAC’s report on the 2019 audited accounts of government, the Auditor General’s report on Covid-19 response, and audited financial statements of public agencies and institutions, cities, municipality and area councils from June 2022 to July 2023. 

Yesterday, FPAC met with the National Audit Office and the Accountant Generals Office to review response of various institutions to the lawmakers. 

The Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health was tasked to provide missing vouchers of one million six hundred and fifty thousand dalasis to Brikama national audit and FPAC.

Mr Serign Mass Jallow, of the National Audit Office, disclosed that the payment vouchers provided were photocopied and the attachment list of the relevant beneficiaries was not attached to the payment vouchers. “In addition, the payment review was raised by the AG department in respect of the transfer of funds to Brikama sub-treasury. However, the issue raised by the Brikama sub-treasury and supporting document of the onward payment of the allowances to relevant beneficiaries were not presented,” he said.

The chairperson of FPAC committee, Hon Alagie S. Darboe, said the MoH had “failed to provide” the said missing vouchers, hence it should be forwarded to the IGP for investigation.

The GMC was tasked to provide evidence of disbursement of three hundred and eighty-five thousand one hundred and fifty-nine dalasis to media houses.

Mr Jallow revealed that they reviewed the evidences and noted five hundred and eighty-five thousand one hundred and fifty-nine dalasis was disbursed by the Gambia Press Union (GPU) to media houses. However, he added that the audit team could not confirm whether the funds were utilised by media houses as prescribed in the agreement. “There was no evidence to suggest that funds were accounted for and bank statement were not presented by beneficiary media houses; only DHK has provided its bank statement, as a result the issue remains unresolved.” The committee referred it to the IGP. 

Mr Mass Jallow further noted the evidence presented by NDMA “varies” between the amounts that were recorded in the cover letter.  Due to this issue; “we were unable to rely on it. No evidence in relation to this difference was included in the evidence provide,” he stated.

“The Payment Voucher PLP 180885, dated 29th October 2020, amounting to three million five hundred thousand dalasis relating to disaster victims was presented for their review but does not relate to Covid-19 response

Shortage of delivery oil by the international commodity insurance: “In our review on the evidence presented by NDMA through the National Assembly, we noted that it was the same information that was provided to us during the audit,” he said. On evidence of delivery, he stated, the balance of fifty-three thousand seven hundred and ninety-one drums of ten-liter oil worth thirty-seven million six hundred and fifty-three thousand seven hundred dalasis was not presented. The only delivery note included in the submission was for the sixteen thousand two hundred and nine drums of ten-liter oil, he added.    

On the certificate of confiscation, he said the confiscation certificate was presented during the audit, thus the disposal report or certificate was not provided. 

Based on the evidence provided for review they noted the following issue:  “The LRR confiscated report for 28 bags of rice was reproduced, not all confiscated food items were supported with a destruction certificate. Based on the issues noted, we can’t rely on the destruction report presented after the audit.”      

The rest of the institutions also failed to provide information they were tasked to provide thus, the FPAC decided to refer them to the IGP for investigation.

Source: The Point

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