By Muhammad Bah
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs (MoFEA)Abdoulie Jallow on Monday 27th of October 2014 updated the National Assembly in Banjul on the implementation of the recommendation made by the Public Accounts and Public Enterprises Committee PAC/PEC to his ministry on the 2008 to 2010 audited financial statements of the government of the Gambia.
PS Jallow said the financial statement of this particular period was laid last year before the National Assembly in pursuit of section 17(1) of the Finance and Audit Act.
According to PS Jallow, the financial statements are prepared in accordance with the 1997 constitution, the Budget Management and Accountability Act 2004, the Financial Instruction and the International Public Sector Accounting Standards.
He recalled that the joint session noted some lapses on the backlog of Audited Accounts of the Central Government (2011 and 2012) ; noting that the government is still in arrears for the years 2011 and 2012 in contravention of section 41(1) of the Budget Management and Accountability Act 2004.
The PS reminded Deputies that the 2011 financial statement was audited and was laid before the National Assembly whilst the 2012 financial statement is in progress. He said that the financial statement of 2013 is also submitted to the Auditor General for audit.
He said deputies highlighted that some expenditures made from the contingency fund did not appear to be unforeseen and urgency was required by law. He said the deputies pointed out that the fund is meant to meet unforeseen and urgent expenditure. However, he said the Ministry has strengthened the monitoring of expenditures from the contingency fund.
PS Jallow said the lawmakers have said the payment vouchers for both 2009 and 2010 were not presented for audit inspection and the PAC/ PEC had stressed vouchers be made available to the Auditor General . He said as a result vouchers were subsequently provided to the auditor.
Briefing the National Assembly, PS Jallow said the joint session again highlighted some payment vouchers of both 2009 and 2010 were with one invoice attached and pointed out that is in contravention of the Gambia Public Procurement Authority GPPA Regulations. He told deputies that the Finance Ministry has addressed a letter to all Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Departments to ensure all payment vouchers are with three quotations.
He said the joint session committee noted that some vouchers had no supporting document which the committee said violates the financial instructions. He told deputies that a letter was also addressed to all Permanent Secretaries and heads of departments.
The PS said Members have pointed out that the Treasurer directorate did not provide summary of stores and other assets as required by the budget management and accountability Act. He said this leaves out substantial amount of government assets both in the country and overseas and may not reflect the true picture of the total government assets.
He told deputies the list of government assets purchased since 2007 are available on the IFMIS and the assets management module is planned to be implemented as part of the IFMIS to handle the management of government assets.