By: Kebba AF Touray
The Chairperson of the Finance and Public Accounts Committee of the Legislature dubbed FPAC, Hon. Alhagie S Darboe has told Parliament that his committee observed a difference of two hundred and fifteen thousand fifty-three Dalasi and twenty-three Bututs (D215,053.23) was recorded in the report of the Gambia National Library Services Authority (GNLSA).
Hon. Darboe made this disclosure while presenting the report of the committee on the 2019 accounts of the government, the report on COVID-19 phase two, and financial statements of Institutions, agencies municipalities, and area councils.
“A difference amounting to D215,053.23 between the institution’s monthly payroll summary amounting to D2,445,067.72 and the amount recorded in the general ledger balance of D2,660,120.95 were recorded”, he said,
He said The Gambia National Library Services Authority (GNLSA) presented its annual Activity Reports and audited financial statements for the years ended 31st December 2018 and 2019, with the GPPA’s Report on GNLSA covering only 2017 and 2018, adding that the report for 2019 was not finalized because the management responses were received late.
He said that during the interface with the Board and Management of GNLSA, the Committee observed that the financial and administrative procedures manual has not been updated since September 2004 and lacks documented policies and procedures on the methods and rates at which the different classes of fixed assets should be depreciated.
“A difference amounting to D215,053.23 between the institution’s monthly payroll summary amounting to D2,445,067.72 and the amount recorded in the general ledger balance of D2,660,120.95 was recorded. Management was recording loan repayment as income in the miscellaneous Income account and Loan repayments were not recorded in the debtors’ receivable accounts. There are differences between the loan listing and the general ledger balance,” he said.
Darboe said the FPAC recommended that a comprehensive financial and administrative procedure manual should be developed to ensure policies, procedures and responsibilities are clearly outlined, and the Management should carry out a detailed review of all the assets and update relevant depreciation policies for each class of assets.
He said FPAC recommended: “The payroll summary and the general ledger should be reconciled monthly and reviewed by an independent person and Management should also investigate the difference and reconcile accordingly. Management should ensure that reviewed, corrected and proper entries are being done for each account balance. Management should investigate differences and post adjustments if necessary.”
On GPPA, he reported that the Gambia Public Procurement Authority (GPPA) presented its annual Activity Reports and audited financial statements for the years ended from 31st December 2017 to 31st December 2019. Compliance Review of GPPA as an institution is ongoing.
He said that the committee observed that there is no Term of Reference (TOR) for the Board covering all aspects of their work beyond those reflected in the GPPA Act, 2014 and that the Board should meet quarterly as per the GPPA Act, but Auditors were provided with only two meeting minutes.
The committee he added also observed that from the review of the registration fees by the Auditors, it was noted that some suppliers did not submit the required documents for registration, and from the sample of staff files reviewed by the Auditors, it was noted that no job descriptions were found in the personal files of some of the staff file.
Hon. Darboe highlighted that late payments of statutory deductions to the relevant authorities PAYE Taxes and Pension Contributions, some staff who are beneficiaries of building loans are not honoring repayments, and there is no designated institution that conducts procurement compliance review on GPPA as an institution were other issued observed by FPAC.
Single source procurement, he said usually caused by emergency or standardization of the products and services, is risky and prone to abuse.
He said that FPAC recommended that the Board should ensure that it has a comprehensive TOR specifying how it should conduct its business and should meet quarterly as required by the Act, and all documents required for the registration process should be submitted and properly filed before a certificate is issued to the supplier.
He said that the committee also recommended that “job descriptions be developed for all the staff and copies maintained in their personal files. Statutory deductions on taxes and pensions should be paid on or before the 15th day of the following month”.
He said that the committee also recommended that outstanding balances must be settled immediately.
“Management should engage the staff with the non-performing loans and ensure they are fully recovered by December 2023, MoFEA should designate an institution to review GPPA’s procurement compliance and reporting accordingly, and there is a need to look at the regulatory framework for single sourcing, to ensure value for money,” FPAC recommended.