By Binta Jaiteh
Agnes Macaulay, Accountant General of The Gambia has disclosed that the expenditure on the Government operations (salaries and other goods and services) amounted to D8.33 billion against a target of D9.01 billion which constituted the highest share of 50.43% of total expenditure during 2019.
During the presentation of the government audited Financial Statements for the year ended 31st December to the Finance and Public Accounts Committee (FPAC) the Accountant General noted that other expenses amounting to D2.94 billion against a target of D2.30 billion constituted 17.79% of total expenditure.
She explained that the total revenue during the fiscal year 2019 amounted to D14.50 billion, which was 56.73 percent of the 2019 budget, resulting in a shortfall of D11.06 billion.
Domestic revenues (tax and non-tax revenue), excluding grants and loan receipts, she said, yielded D11.80 billion against a combined target of D12.17 billion, which was a performance of 96.99 percent when compared to the target.
However, actual tax revenue was D10.66 billion which was above the year’s target by 3.3 percent. Meanwhile, tax revenue contributed 90.30 percent to total domestic revenues in the fiscal year 2019. Non-tax revenue amounted to D1.15 billion during the fiscal year 2019, which was 61.86% of the target and 9.70 percent of total domestic revenue.
Furthermore, the grants received during the year through the Consolidated Revenue Fund Account were D2.70 billion and it should be noted that some grants were received by Government but these were disbursed directly into the bank accounts of the beneficiary agencies without going through the Consolidated Revenue Fund Account.
She explained that transfers to other government entities amounted to D1.41 billion against a target of D1.54 billion, whereas interest payments were D2.67 billion which was 13 percent below the target of D3.07 billion. Expenditure on social benefits amounted to D280 million which was 98 percent when compared to the target of D285.83 million. Capital expenditures amounted to D892.83 million, which was 84% percent when compared to the target of D1.06 billion. Capital expenditures constituted 5.40 percent of total expenditures during 2019.
Expenditure on other expenses amounted to D2.94 billion which was 97 percent when compared to the target of D3.03 billion. She lamented that the Accountant General is responsible for establishing and maintaining a system of internal controls that are designed to provide reasonable assurance that the transactions recorded are within the authority and properly record the use of all public funds by the Government of The Gambia.