By: Kebba AF Touray
Members of the Finance and Public Account Committee (FPAC) of the National Assembly have extended the time for the Gambia Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (GCCPC) officers should present their Activity Report and Financial Statements for scrutiny, consideration and adoption by the said Committee, up to the 15 of August 2022,
This ultimatum was given to the authorities of GCCPC on Monday, 27 June 2022, when they appeared before members of the above committee and could not furnish them with the said documents.
Yaya E Danso, Head of Finance and Admin at the Commission, told members of the said committee that it was unfortunate that they did not have a financial statement for the year 2020.
“We have submitted our activity report, but the audit is still ongoing. We have submitted our accounts for both 2020 and 2021 and I can inform this body that the activity report for 2020 is ready. However, we are left with the 2021 activity report,” he said.
Fatoumatta Cham, the National Assembly Member for Sanneh Mentereng and member of the said committee, asked GCCPC officers what and why was their report still pending and what are the reasons for the delay?
In response to Cham’s question, the Chief Executive Officer of the GCCPC, Amadou Ceesay, explained that he joined the Commission in 2020, and that prior to this, the one in charge of finance was not present . As a result, he said there were some backlogs.
“So when I joined, we prepared for the years 2018 and 2019. We even had to write to the National Audit Office for the appointment of an External Auditor so that we can clear the backlogs. So we did the audit exercise and before we completed it, it was well into 2021,” he told FPAC; reiterating that upon completion of those audit exercises, they prepared the 2020 and 2021 reports and submitted it to the external auditors for audit.
“We will finish the audit process for not only 2020, but in three months, we will be done with both 2020 and 2021 accounts and reports,” GCCPC Officers said.
Phoday M Jaiteh, Director General of the Gambia Public Procurement Authority (GPPA), also informed the committee that they are yet to commence auditing the 2020 and 2021 financial statements, which according to him, is at the planning stage.
“We have communicated that by mid next month, field work will commence as soon as possible. The report for the GCCPC is not ready. I am two weeks old in my capacity as DG of GPPA and that right now, I am conducting a study of the institution in terms of systems, structures and man power,” Jaiteh told FPAC.
Kebba Lang Fofanna, Chairperson of FPAC, challenged: “In view of the prevailing circumstances, we will definitely give an extension. However, you should be prepared that come end of July, you will honour the commitments that you have made. There will be no further extension. Your compliance report with the GPPA also needs to be submitted.”
On the status of the report of the commission, he also tasked GPPA to furnish FPAC with the report on the status of the commission.
Consequently, the committee gave the commission till the 15 of August 2022, as an ultimatum to reappear and present its reports and financial statements for scrutiny, consideration and adoption by the FPAC.