By: Kebba AF Touray
The Finance and Public Accounts Committee of the National Assembly (FPAC) has reported that grants totaling ninety-two million, three hundred and twenty-three thousand, four hundred and sixty-three dalasi and fifty-one butut (D92, 323, 463.51), was disbursed directly to sectors during the period under review.
FPAC made this disclosure in its report on the 2019 accounts of the government, COVID-19 Phase Two report, Financial Statements of Agencies, Institutions, Municipalities and Area Councils. This report was tabled before lawmakers by FPAC Chairperson and member for Brikama North Hon Alhagie S. Darboe.
On Grants, Hon Darboe reported failures in providing records of grant disbursement, and said “the Auditors noted that there were grants totaling D92, 323, 463.51 disbursed directly to sectors during the year under review, for which no record exists at the Ministry of Finance.” He reported that reconciliation should be performed in respect of grants disbursed to individual projects on a regular basis, and asserting that the dictates of the Public Finance Act should always be adhered to and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs should provide records of the above grant disbursements.
Speaking further, FPAC Chairperson also reported differences in balance of Outstanding Commitments, saying “the Auditors noted differences of twenty-six thousand (D26,000.00) between amounts disclosed in the financial statement and figures extracted from the IFMIS portal in respect of outstanding commitment at the year-end.
He said they could not confirm the accuracy of these amounts as the Accountant General did not provide a breakdown on them, adding that there are un-cleared balances in the statement of outstanding commitments, coupled with an outstanding commitment of three hundred and fifty-one million, and six hundred and ninety-three thousand (D351,693,000.00) in respect of Ministries, Agencies and Embassies at the year end. He said FPAC recommends that Accountant General should provide a breakdown of the above amounts of outstanding commitments from Ministries and should ensure that any difference is corrected by December 2023.