Sunday, May 28

Auditor says stakeholders should act on findings

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Mr. Trawally was continuing his testimony before the LGCI, where he explained and clarified issues relating to Brikama Area Council audit for the year ended 2019.

Mr Trawally lamented the successive repetition of concerns in councils in previous local government audit reports without the intervention of stakeholders.

Mr. Trawally told the Commission that the National Audit Office is a reporting body that makes findings and reports them.

He said auditors cannot take action. It is the stakeholders who should act, which is why they are reported. These oversight issues rest with also the Ministry of Local Government and Lands and the National Assembly.

He stated that sometimes they indicate weaknesses and also recount such weaknesses in subsequent audit reports simply because nothing was done to remedy and prevent a recurrence

Testifying to clarify issues in the Brikama Area Council 2019 Audit Report, Mr Trawally confirmed that some of the sub-committees at the council were not functional, adding that there was no evidence to say that the selection to the sub-committees was informed by qualification.

The Commission also heard that, for instance, none of the members of the Finance Sub-committee had any finance background.

Moreover, Mr Trawally also revealed that during the audit, collections amounting to 60, 613,728. 50 was seen to be posted in the cash book but there was no deposit slip to the auditors to confirm if these amounts were banked (deposited to the bank).

The Commission heard that contrary to the council management’s claim to provide all necessary records to auditors, only 16,583, 981.74 in deposits were traced from the records provided.

The top auditor also harped on the issue of un-presented cash books, adding that review of revenue books against the collectors’ cash book revealed that some cash books were not presented for their review.

He added that they later even found out from the management that one of the collectors has been dismissed from his appointment but he still had cash book with him. The witness explained that there’s the risk that these cash books may contain substantive amounts that could be diverted for personal use.

Also, Mr Trawally told the commission: “During the inspection at the Busumbala market, we discovered that occupants of two recently constructed blocks comprising 17 shops could not show evidence of paying rent to the council.