Pa Majagne Ndow, First Deputy Auditor General of the National Auditor Office (NAO) has disclosed that so far the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) remains the only state institution yet to be audited. He revealed further that it was virtually impossible to audit the institution during the former regime as it was directly under the office of the President that was not playing by the rules.
He made this revelation at an organised forum held in Banjul attended by the members of his institution and press members who were taken through the institution’s mandate, functions and responsibilities as the supreme audit institution of the country.
“The Auditor General has been engaging the NIA Director General on this matter so that we can start it but we have not started it yet. Of course, for the past twenty (20) years we couldn’t audit them, they were under the office of the former President and we couldn’t audit them,” Pa Majagne Ndow, 1st Deputy Auditor General revealed.
He added, “Of course, it was under the office of the President which was a different thing of its own. Preparations are now on course to start auditing the institution.”
According to him, the National Audit Office (NAO) is aware of the sensitivity of auditing the intelligence, noting that this process can be carried out by either the Director General himself or other directors under his purview hence NIA cannot be exempted from auditing.
First Deputy Auditor General emphasised that the NIA just like other Gambia Government Institutions is bound to be audited as they have been budgeted through taxpayers’ money. It is only in exceptional situations where budgets are labeled secret that NAO cannot perform its mandate but that is not the case of the NIA.
He submitted that another factor that prevented his institution from performing most of its duties was a matter of limited capacity to carry out the task, while saying efforts are on course to start the auditing of the NIA in the shortest possible time.
Bakary Trawally, Head of Municipalities and Councils revealed that Janjanbureh and Kuntaur Area Councils audited financial statements for 2019 and 2020 are at the drafting stage. He noted that the delay for the finalisation of these Audited Financial Statements has been due to change in administrations of these regions that witnessed the transfers and coming of new Chief Executive Officers (CEOs).
NAO Head of Municipalities and Councils went further that the delay in finalising the audited financial statements of these Councils will not stop NAO from working on their 2021, Audited Financial Statements. According to him, his unit is optimistic that before the end of July, 2022, the Audited Financial statements of these Councils will be finalised.
In his conclusion, he disclosed that NAO has written letters to these councils in a bid to respond to questions that will help NAO to finalise these council’s 2019 and 2020, Audited Financial statements, but these councils are yet to respond to the NAO management letters to this date.