‘BAC Ledger Indicates Over D9 Million Spent on Purchase of Fuel’

244

For Year Under Review

By Makutu Manneh

Ebrima Sanyang, the Director of Procurement, Policy and Operations at the Gambia Public Procurement Authority (GPPA), said the Authority’s compliance review report on the Brikama Area Council’s (BAC) book of financial accounts (ledger), showed nine million, five hundred and forty-five thousand, nine hundred and thirty three Dalasi, seventy-eight butut (D9,545,933.78) as expenditure on fuel, but they presented to the GPPA’s review team, a document indicating four million, two hundred and one thousand, nine hundred and sixty six Dalasi, forty nine butut (D 4, 201,966.49).

“The total as per the documents was less than the total in the ledger. It could be deliberate that some of the documents were hidden from the GPPA’s review team,” Mr. Sanyang said. He said the review team could not account for the remainder of the money amounting to about five million Dalasi, adding that there were no receipts and therefore, it is possible that the fuel were not supplied. He added that BAC did not provide the review team with the documents and therefore, they could not account for the missing funds, and said BAC did not follow due process.

Going further, he said BAC purchased goods worth seventy thousand, one hundred and fifty Dalasi (D70,150). He testified that the procurement of those goods was not part of the procurement plan of the Council and the Contracts Committee did not approve it, adding that there were no delivery receipts and delivery notes for this transaction, and indicated that there was no evidence of delivery of these goods to the Brikama Area Council by the supplier.

In another transaction, the report said Brikama Area Council purchased spare parts for twenty six thousand Dalasi (D26,000) through request for quotation, and Mr. Sanyang said this was not part of the Brikama Area Council’s procurement plan because the procurement was not approved by the Contracts Committee. He pointed out that there were no minutes of the Contracts Committee meeting about this particular procurement.

In another transaction, the Brikama Area Council purchased tiles for one hundred and five thousand Dalasi (D105,000) through request for quotation. Mr Sanyang said like the previous one, this transaction was not part of the procurement plan and was not approved by the contracts committee, adding that there was also no inspection committee and no minutes of the Contracts Committee. That there was no evaluation report generated from the procurement.

He said Brikama Area Council also purchased goods amounting to Four Hundred Thousand Dalasi (D400,000) through request for quotation, and said similar findings were made as mentioned in the previous procurements.  He explained the Brikama Area Council (BAC) used Sixty-Five Thousand Dalasi (D65,000) for the hiring of a bulldozer through single sourcing. The witness said the amount involved is above the threshold for single sourcing, adding that the threshold for using single sourcing is Twenty Thousand Dalasi (D20,000) for goods and services, while Fifty Thousand Dalasi (D50,000) is for works. He said the rest of the findings are quite similar to those made in previous transactions.

Also, he said the Brikama Area Council purchased office equipment for Seventy-Six Thousand, Five Hundred and Ninety Dalasi (D76,590) through single-sourcing. The witness said the amount involved was above the threshold for single sourcing and said the findings remain the same like all previous transactions. Again he said the Brikama Area Council also purchased 5 HP toner for Thirty-Two Thousand, Seven Hundred and Seventy-Five Dalasi (D32,775) which was also above the threshold. That the Brikama Area Council also purchased Inner Tube for Three Thousand Dalasi (D3,000); that though this was within the threshold of single sourcing, the findings remain the same as mentioned in previous other transactions such as lack of approval by the Contracts Committee. He added the Brikama Area Council also purchased a Samsung Mobile Phone for Twelve Thousand Dalasi (D12,000) from Global Electricity through single sourcing, which amount was within the threshold of single sourcing but out of the procurement laws and rules such as no minutes of the Contracts Committee, no approval by the Contracts Committee, no receipts, no delivery notes and no purchase orders raised, among others.

“In 2019, there was no procurement plan for the Brikama Area Council,” Mr Sanyang said. He added

this was the end of the 2019 compliance review report for the Brikama Area Council.

Now the focus was shifted to the 2020 and 2021 compliance review report and Mr. Sanyang cited similarities in the findings made in 2019 and 2020, on non-compliance issues. He said there was no formal appointment of members of the Contracts Committee and there were no specifications on procurements. He added that the contracts committee did not approve the transactions and there was the absence of the following documents: receipts, delivery notes and evaluation report, and explained further that there were no minutes from the Contracts Committee meetings regarding the procurements.

Mr Sanyang said the Brikama Area Council spent Nine Hundred and Sixty-Seven Thousand, Six Hundred and Eighty Dalasi (D967,680) for the purchase of 25 kilogram bags of rice through single sourcing. Sanyang said the amount involved was excessively beyond the threshold of single sourcing, which is Twenty Thousand Dalasis (D20,000).

That in 2020, the specific findings were made but the review team did not have major issues with these procurements:

1. PROCUREMENT OF 1,680 BAGS OF 25KGS OF RICE

Amount: Nine Hundred and Sixty-Seven Thousand Six Hundred and Eighty Dalasis  (D967,680) to Blueprint Company Ltd through Single Sourcing.

2. PROCUREMENT OF PHOTOGRAPHS

Amount: Eight Thousand Five Hundred (D8,500) to Modou’s Photo Studio through Single Sourcing.

3. PROCUREMENT OF VEHICLE SPAREPARTS

Amount: Six Thousand Six Hundred (D6,600) to Pierre Manga’s Mechanics Workshop through single sourcing.

4. PROCUREMENT OF STATIONERY

Amount: Forty-Two Thousand Six Hundred and Seven Dalasis (D42,607) to KGN through Request for Quotation.

4.3 PROCUREMENT OF EXCAVATION AND CLEARING OF DRAINS

Amount: Four Hundred and Fifty Thousand Dalasis (D450,000) to Lang Karamo Sawaneh through Request for Quotation.

4.3 PROCUREMENT OF RAIN SUITS, BOOTS AND PLASTIC GLOVES

Amount: One Hundred and Sixty-Seven Thousand Five Hundred Dalasis (D167,500) to Friendship Enterprise through Request for Quotation. The issues they found in those procurements are similar to their 2019 findings.

In conclusion Mr Sanyang said in 2021, the specific findings regarding the above purchases which the GPPA compliant review team saw, indicated that the Brikama Area Council was compliant.