BAC Revenue Collector Cannot Explain Variances in Deposit, Cashier Receipt Books

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By Makutu Manneh 

Jainaba Cham, a rate and tax collector at the Brikama Area Council (BAC), cannot explain the variances in the amount of monies she deposited at the bank after collection, and the receipt given to her by the cashier at BAC.

Ms Cham was unable to give an explanation to Commissioners of the Local Government Commission of Enquiry, when she appeared before them to testify.

Lead Counsel Patrick Gomez first informed the witness that there are some collections she made where the amount recorded in her GTR receipts was different from the amount she deposited, and also there was a different amount in the receipt issued to her by the cashier. 

“When you go to the cashier for submission, do you usually go with your deposit slips, and does the cashier also issue you GT receipts,” Lead Counsel Gomez asked.

The witness replied that these are the procedures and further agreed that the amount in the GTR receipts should be exactly what was deposited.

Lead Counsel Gomez told her that in March 2022, she had a GTR receipt indicating an amount of Fourteen Thousand, Five Hundred and Fifty Dalasi but that her Vista Bank deposit slip indicated a deposit of Thirteen Thousand Dalasi. Counsel Gomez further told her that for the same transaction, the cashier gave her a receipt of Fourteen Thousand, Five Hundred and Fifty Dalasi, despite depositing only Thirteen Thousand Dalasi.

“I do not know how it happened. It could be that sometimes, they instruct us to make expenses from our collections before going to the bank to deposit. When that happens, they will tell us to make the expenses and take the receipts or invoice to the Council,” she said. She continued to say that sometimes they are asked to pay Alkalos their commission from the collection they made, adding that the Alkalos do not sign after receiving the commission. 

Lead Counsel Gomez showed the witness other transactions from her cash book in which she was issued GTR receipts different from deposits she made, saying that on 27th of January 2022, she collected five thousand, two hundred and twenty-five Dalasi, but deposited four thousand, five hundred only.

“Why were you given a receipt for more than what was deposited,” Lead Counsel Gomez asked.

“It is like the previous one,” she replied.

Counsel Gomez disagreed with her further telling her that they have seen many instances where she deposited less than what she collected. He told her that saying she pay Alkalos Commission is not true. 

“It is true. I give the Alkalos their Commission,” she said.

Lead Counsel Gomez told the witness that most of the time, she does not pass through the Internal Audit Unit, but the witness disagreed saying “when I deposit, I pass through the Internal Audit Unit.’’ 

When asked to provide evidence from her cash book showing that she passed through the Internal Audit, Ms. Cham checked and told Lead Counsel Gomez that the receipt was there and that they might have forgot to stamp it.

Lead Counsel Gomez told her that this is not true because there is no evidence that she passed through the Internal Audit. However, the witness argued that she was there, and that it might have been that the Internal Unit did not sign the cash book. 

Lead Counsel Gomez then told her the following: “The idea is you people have an arrangement with the Cashier and when you steal, you do not pass through the Audit Unit.”

However, the witness still disagreed saying she always passes through the Internal Audit Unit.

Lead Counsel Gomez again took the witness to February 2021, from the 13th to 16th when she collected thirteen thousand, nine hundred and fifty three Dalasi, but did not go for weekly submission.

The witness agreed that she made this collection and deposited the money, but it might be that she did not go for submission.

Sittings continue.

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