By Makutu Manneh
Mr Lamin S. Touray, IT Manager for Basse Area Council on Wednesday, 20th September 2023 demonstrated before the Local Government Commission of Inquiry how their revenue collection machines operate.
He said they have two types of revenue collection machines which are Telpo and Suim P2, adding that Suim P2 is the advanced device that the council is currently using.
The witness showed the commission the new advanced device they are using and illustrated how it can make a collection both online and offline. Touray also demonstrated how the machine can be operated and how the ticket roll is inserted into it.
He also demonstrated how the collectors can log in and do the collection both online and offline.
MrTouray added that it could not be possible for the device to show that a particular revenue collector made a transaction while he or she did not because everyone has a User Name and a Password and that someone’s transaction cannot be attributed to another person.
He said if a collection is done offline, it will not be shown on the dashboard but when the device goes on automatically, the transaction will reflect on the dashboard.
Mr Touray disclosed to the Commission that the server for the said devices is stationed outside the country and managed from Dubai, UAE.
The witness dimissed Manku Manneh’s submission that he did not use the machine since it was not functioning.
It could be recalled that Manku Manneh appeared before the Commission to testify, among other things, the possession of a device for more than three months as stated in the council’s report as well as allegations of making collection without depositing it into the Council’s Account.
However, during his testimony, Manku told the Commission that he left the device in his house for one month and was not doing any transaction with it.
The IT Manager said Manku was having a device in his possession for more than three months and when his (Witness) Assistant Lamin Manneh informed him that the Director of Finance Suso requested for Manku to be given a device, he (witness) instructed his assistant not to do so.
“I told him Manku has a device, you cannot give him another one. Normally Manku should speak to his line Manager requesting for a device who will relate it to me. It is not the job of the Finance Director to ask us to give a revenue collector a device,” he said.
“Maybe he asked us to give the device to Manku because they want to go for collection because the Audit Report indicated that Manku and Suso normally go out for revenue collection and the money will be handed to the Finance Director Suso.”
He recalled that he was called by Kaba Sanneh, a Revenue Collector who works with Manku in Wuli, who said Manku had a device, adding: “I told him to bring the device to my office and I told Lamin Manneh that when Kaba brings the device, he should label it.”
He said Manku’s testimony that he left the device in his house was a lie because he also denied it when he asked him.
The BsAC IT manager further informed the Commission that it could not be possible for the device to show that he made transactions while he did not because everyone has a Username and that someone’s transaction cannot be attributed to another person.
“When this device was recovered, it was functional but at the time of presenting it in my house it was out of battery. He was doing the transections offline,” he revealed.
Touray told the Commission that he has confronted Manku Manneh several times about the device he had in his possession, but Manku would always deny having any device with him.
Lamin Manneh, Assistant IT Officer of the said Council, recalled that finance director Lamin Suso once called him around November or December, 2022 and told him to give a device to Manku because he was going for collection.
He testified that he sought permission from his boss, the IT Manager for BsAC, who he said instructed him not to give the device to Manku because he already had one in his possession.
“I went back to Lamin Suso and informed him what my boss said and he said okay. When Lamin S. Touray came back from his trip he asked Manku about the device he is having and he denied having any device,” he explained.