By Mama A. Touray
The Audit Director on Municipalities and Area Councils, Bakary Trawally on Tuesday disclosed in his testimony before the Local Government Commission of Inquiry that none of the members of the finance subcommittee at Brikama Area Council has any finance background.
He reiterated to the Commission that “None of the members of the finance subcommittee has any finance background and all of the instituted committees only the mandated subcommittee submitted minutes for our review during the audit.”
Mr. Trawally testified that they looked at the composition of the finance committee but at Brikama Area Council there is nobody with a fiancé background.
“If you have a finance subcommittee usually they should even help the management on this reports, they should even put pressure on the management to make sure that actions are taken and implemented before auditors come.”
He further said the chairman confirmed that the proposed inclusion of non-council coopted members with relevant skills has not yet materialized as they lack the quorum to make such a decision.
“The chairman and his councilors serve as an oversight so in doing that according to the local government Act there must be subcommittees on finance, educational amongst others given oversight to the management. But if you don’t have anybody with a finance background then that can affect the effectiveness of the committee,” he said.
He also told the commission that the general council headed by the chairman as required by the Act comprises eleven sub-committees each having an area of responsibility.
The Audit Director further stated that their assessment revealed that some of the committees have not been functional and that they were unable to also find evidence to suggest that the selection of the subcommittee was informed by positional influence.
He explained that when they are at the council they allow everyone in their interaction with the chairman adding they are aware of this and they want to co-opt some people with finance background but they don’t have the quorum to take that decision.
Mr. Trawally told the Commission further that the response of the management of the Brikama Area Council “The management responded that as par ministerial directive dated January 2020, subcommittees are referred to hold a maximum of two sittings in a month, likewise the general council is dully adhering to section 28 subsection one of the local government act 2002 by conveying a general sitting at least once every month.”
The response of the management continued: “A well establish criteria are essential for the effective functioning of the subcommittee, we will co-opt members whose contributions are deemed necessary in line with this section 34 of the Local Government Act 2002, this measure will ensure the effective operation of the sub-committee.”