PAC/PEC of the National Assembly meets Ministries’ reps on audit queries

By Muhammad Bah

The Public Account and Public Enterprise committee of Parliament on Tuesday 21st April met representatives of various ministries at the national assembly to get them to answer to queries raised in the report of the auditor general.

The subject matter was queries Not much progress was made as many of the civil servants indicated that they had very short notice, even as late as the very morning of the sitting to face the committee.

Among them was Momodou Lamin Sanneh, the Secretary General of NATCOM who assumed office after the Audit report of the period under review. He said he knew nothing about the 2012 queries regarding NATCOM, adding that by that time he was not in office and had only prepared himself for the 2013 Audit report. He then asked deputies to give him time to go back and prepare responses to that.

Another institution was the Ministry of Defense and The Armed Forces represented by the Permanent Secretary who also said that he was not prepared to give responses to the Auditor’s queries and asked for referral to a later date. He also suggested that defence issues are supposed to be held in camera. This idea was rejected by Hon. Alhajie Sillah of Banjul North saying this has nothing do with Guns, uniforms etc. but infrastructure and lack of payment vouchers.

Dr. Henry Carol, representing the Solicitor General Ministry of Justice said he was called just that morning to represent his ministry and he is not aware of anything concerning audit reports.

The Majority leader Fabakary T. Jatta took the floor to inform officials representing their institutions that they must come with a backup team to help them give adequate responses.

The meeting was then re-scheduled for Monday 27 April 2015 to give them time to prepare themselves to answer the audit queries.

Representatives of local government authorities (councils) will appear before the joint committee today Wednesday 22 April to give answers to audit queries.