Friday, March 24

3 Former Cabinet Members of Former Regime Still Owe D1,394,432.30

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The National Audit Office (NAO) report of financial statements of the Government of The Gambia financial year 2018 has revealed that three (3) former cabinet members of the former regime still owe an outstanding loan balance amounting to D1,394, 432.30 as of 31 December 2018.

The report did not disclose the names of the former cabinet members but says that there is a risk that the outstanding balances will not be recovered resulting in losses for the government.

The report said there were misappropriations of government funds from previous financial years resulting in losses of public monies totaling D17,097,387.60 that were not fully recovered as of 31 December 2018.

“Gambia Immigration department (Seaport): visa fee amounting to D 1,302,000 was received by the cashier but only D700,000 was paid to the government leaving a balance of D602,000, Brikama Health Centre; Un-accounted revenue collections of D402,674.00, Brikama sub-treasury; un-accounted revenue collections of D6,592,172.50,  Kerewan sub-treasury; unaccounted cash of D2,136,327.61, Janjanbureh sub- treasury; unaccounted cash of D521,000.00, Directorate of National Treasury; un-authorise withdrawal of public funds from the Old TMA of D4,064,363.15, Department of Forestry, Parks, and Wildlife; un-authorised transactions in a Project Account of D839,500.00,”  the financial statements disclosed.

It also  disclosed that mission in Guinea Bissau; cash withdrawals were not accounted for by the finance attaché of D390,000.32 and  on the mission in Paris there was a reported fraud by the finance attaché at the mission in Paris on 14 February 2014 of amount €27,500 (Equivalent to GMD 1,593,50.00)

The report further said inappropriate procurement, retrospective approval, and signing of contract documents revealed that  D23,675,354.00 was spent on the procurement of eleven (11) vehicles, an initial payment of D14,761,004 was made in 2017 and final payment was made in 2018.

“However, the delivery of Nine (9) vehicles was made to the Office of The President before the contract for this procurement was signed in December 2017.

As such, value for money may be compromised when due procurement processes are not followed (such retrospective approval of contracts and procurement has been a recurring issue in previous audit reports)”, the report pointed out.

According to the report supplier registered for goods only but paid for services, the rehabilitation of the Independence Stadium for the celebration of the 2018 Independence Anniversary of the Gambia amounting to D2,998,800.00 was awarded to a supplier who registered with Gambia Public Procurement Authority (GPPA) for the supply of goods and NOT the delivery of service.

“This is a serious breach of the GPPA Act and the Regulations and defeats the spirit of sound procurement practices as the said supplier might not have the expertise to carry out such services,” the report noted.

On weak internal controls, and non-performance of reconciliation between Government and supplier,  the report revealed that there was no evidence of reconciliation performed between the government and a supplier to establish the amount of D47,524,850.00 claimed to be owed to the supplier of motor vehicles procured for cabinet ministers.

In the absence of reconciliation, it will be difficult to establish the amount owed. There is a risk that the supplier could be overpaid and leading to losses of public money,” the report noted.