Hon. Alhagie S. Darboe, FPAC Chairperson
By Ramatoulie Jawo
The Finance and Public Accounts Committee of the Assembly (FPAC) has resolved to refer unresolved resolutions on the Covid-19 and the Audited Accounts of 2019 to the Inspector General of Police for investigation on Wednesday, November 15, 2023.
FPAC made this decision after engaging with the National Audit Office (NAO), the Accountant General Department (AGD), and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs (MoFEA).
The engagement was centered on FPAC’s resolutions that were passed in September this year during the last ordinary session of the assembly on the COVID-19 Audit Report.
The engagement was meant for the NAO to brief them on the submissions reviewed, as well as for the AGD to provide updates on the unretired imprests.
During the engagement, FPAC discovered that some of the resolutions they had passed, such as the COVID-19 Fund, were not resolved.
The committee then resolved to refer unresolved matters to the IGP for investigation.
The unresolved matters include:
The Director General of the NDMA failed to provide additional substantive information, thus making the original query still unresolved, the FPAC committee resolved to refer the matter to the IGP for investigation.
FPAC resolved to refer the IGP to investigate the NDMA over D100 million worth of undelivered food items In which they resolved on September 14, 2023, that the Executive Director of the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) must account for all undelivered food items worth over D100 Million on or before the 25th September 2023 to the AGD and notify FPAC.
FPAC also wants the IGP to investigate the Permanent Secretary of the Health Ministry over failure to produce payment vouchers worth over D1.6 million. In which the Committee resolved that the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Health must produce the missing payment voucher in respect of the payment of GMD 1,650,000.00 to the AG and the on or before 25th September 2023.
Among the issues FPAC resolved to refer to the IGP for investigation is the resolution on the D1.1 million for Ministry of Health frontline workers, in which FPAC resolved that the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health must recover the sum of GMD1,165,548.00 being an overpayment to COVID-19 frontline workers, pay the sum to the AGD, and notify the Auditor General and FPAC on or before 25th September 2023.
Like the NDMA, the Ministry of Health also failed to return the said amount to the Accountant General Department (AGP).
On the Grant Management Committee and GPU, the amount has now been reduced to D462,437.86 as a result of additional information provided by DHK radio who have been cleared. The committee resolved to refer the remaining balance to the IGP to investigate.
FPAC also discovered that some of the resolutions, such as on alleged fraudulent cases detected at the GCCPC, outstanding documents on the retirement of the COVID-19 Funds by the Gambian Embassy in Madrid, PURA’s status update about the levied on Jah Oil with supporting documents, and AGD’s responses on audit queries contained in the FPAC reports on audited government accounts, among other resolutions, were all resolved.
The total of the unretired imprests and un-refunded Covid-19 funds is equivalent to over one hundred and thirty-nine million dalasis (D139M).
These resolutions were passed during the last ordinary session of the National Assembly on the 14th of September 2023.
The concerned institutions were given until 25th September 2023 to refund the monies, however they all failed to do so.
During the Wednesday engagement, FPAC realized that the resolutions they passed in September remained as they were, as such, the Committee has resolved to refer the matters to the Inspector General of Police to probe into the issues.