By Binta Jaiteh
Bakary Trawally, director of audit at the Municipality and Area Councils, has disclosed that the Kanifing Municipal Council audit report is not encouraging over late submission to the National Audit Office.
He disclosed at the National Assembly complex on Tuesday that “most of them doesn’t necessarily mean that they were financial losses but lack of cooperation, provision of documentation and lack of creating for themselves the time and respond to auditors. So, if we finalized our report and said this document has been provided or they are there. As far as they are concern it has not been submitted for review up to the time of finalizing this report.”
According to him, they gave KMC reasonable time a reason that made them left with no other choice but to finalize its audit as it needs completion and submission on time.
“It is true that you don’t sign the day-to-day activities but the auditors are around making sure you create time on weekly basis for them to report because it will help the council,” added that the Mayor was tested positive of Covid-19 and wasn’t wasn’t interactive as it should be otherwise. But said that some of the issues will be solved and for subsequent times Mayor don’t just rely on the fact that you don’t sign if they say KMC it includes the Mayor,” he added.
Honorable Talib Ahmed Bensouda, Mayor of KMC responded that a Mayor is a political appointee of the council and chairman of the council, “our role is making policies and the CEO is the chief accounting officer responsible for policy direction.”
He said during 2019 they have their own CEO the ministry of local government through local government commission decided to bring new CEO and new director of finance which was not our choice and the director of finance does not have ACCA.
“I have the capacity to run an institution such as the council so when the audit office engages them they did not understand what they were looking at for one year plus deputy director of finance is actually doing the role of the director of finance.
“We are here as observers and we don’t have the day to day activities and also the council has internal audit department but for over one year plus we are without audit director and we have written to the local government service commission three times still no answer and KMC has no defense. If CEO and the Director of Finance signs all the cheques and have access to the accounts Mayor and Councillors don’t, if they do any transaction we will not be aware we don’t have the means to detect any fraud or malpractice without internal audit department,” he explained.
“However, local government commission should come back to the council level if we don’t control our staff we cannot hire or dismiss them, whatever happens in the councils is not our responsibility because the people there are not accountable to us,” he added.