By: Kebba AF Touray
The Chairperson of the Finance and Public Accounts Committee of the National Assembly (FPAC) has reported that the Drug Law Enforcement Agency has not been remitting withholding tax as dictated by law, resulting in cumulative values of D946,242.70 and one million, six hundred and forty-eight thousand, five hundred and one dalasi, fifty-seven butut (D1,648,501.57) for 2017 and 2018 respectively.
Chairperson Alagie S. Darboe said the committee observed this during their interface with the management of DLEAG.
As reported by FPAC, The Drug Law Enforcement Agency – The Gambia (DLEA-G) presented its annual Activity Report and Audited Financial Statements for the years ended 31st December 2017 to 2020, together with GPPA’s Compliance Report which covers 2017 and 2018.
FPAC gave a report before members of the National Assembly on the 2019 accounts of the government, the COVID-19 Phase Two report, and the Financial Statements of Agencies, Institutions, Municipalities, and Area Councils, by its Chairperson and Minority Leader and Member for Brikama North Constituency, Hon. Alhagie S. Darboe, on Monday 11September 2023.
According to Hon. Darboe, key findings and observations during their interface with the management of the Drug Agency disclosed that policies and guidelines were not in place for expenses relating to payments of informants, adding that DLEAG was not also remitting withholding tax as dictated by law, amounting to the above mentioned amounts.
“The Committee recommends that the management of DLEA-G ensure that policies and guidelines are in place for expenses relating to payments of informants by December 2023, and ensure that withholding tax is deducted from suppliers and remitted to GRA as dictated by law,” FPAC’s Report recommends.
On the National Environment Agency (NEA), FPAC reports that the agency presented its annual Activity Report and Audited Financial Statements for the year ended 31st December 2020, together with an incomplete GPPA Compliance Review report. He added that key findings and observations during their interface with the Board and Management of NEA revealed that the 2020 Audit Report of the NEA was complete, but some issues remained unresolved.
According to FPAC, the NEA did not also respond to the issues raised by GPPA in its 2019 and 2020 compliance reports, and therefore recommended for the management of the Agency to respond to GPPA queries on all issues before the end of December 2023 and copy their response to FPAC accordingly.
“All audit queries must be responded to by the NEA and auditors must show all unresolved queries for the subsequent years. The NEA Act 1994, needs to be reviewed to address the composition of the National Environment Management Council (NEMC) among others,” FPAC reports.
With respect to the Public Service Commission, FPAC reports that the PSC only presented their annual Activity Reports for the years ended 31st December 2020 and 2021, noting that the Financial Reports of the Commission were covered in the reports of the Auditor General on the Government of the Gambia. FPAC indicated in their report that the PSC occasionally conducts disciplinary investigations within government institutions, the PSC’s recruitment process (from application to interview) is now fully digital and the PSC advises the President and Secretary General on all Public Service matters.
FPAC reported that the PSC Regulations, Code of Conduct, and General Orders were revised in 2013 and that induction programs of the Commission were only conducted for Cadet Officers.
FPAC then recommended the need to review the remuneration package of the Commission and said its Chairperson should appear in person whenever his institution is summoned. FPAC further recommends the relocation of the PSC to a more spacious accommodation for better performance from the current office space they share with the PMO.