By Kebba A.F. Touray
The Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology said their failure to submit audit reports of the Gambia College was as a result of the incarceration of ex-Finance Minister, Amadou Sanneh.
Sanneh, at the time of his arrest was an auditor.
Mr. Alieu Badar Joof stated this during question and answer session with lawmakers on Wednesday, 1st July 2020 in response to a question raised by the member for Upper Saloum, Alagie Mbowe on the preparations, auditing and submissions of audited reports and financial statements of the institutions under the Ministry.
“What is responsible for the inconsistent submission of reports as dictated in the constitution and the tertiary laws”, the member for Upper Saloum asked.
Minister Joof said: “We are on top of things in terms of ensuring that they comply with whatever the requirements of the National Audit Act, the Higher Education and the National Assembly. We will vigorously follow that up to make sure that they don’t delay”
Minister Joof said The Gambia College has prepared its activity reports up to 2018 and 2019 and has also drafted its financial statement up to 2018 and the auditors are finalizing the 2016, as well as those of 2017 and 2018.
Joof said the institutions under his purview are the National Quality Assurance Authority (NAQAA), The Gambia Technical Training Institute (GTTI), the University of the Gambia (UTG), Gambia College (GC,) and the Management Development Institute (MDI).
He clarified that NAQAA has submitted the activity reports and financial audited accounts up to 2018. He said while the activity report for 2019 is ready and by way of update, it is being debated at the Council and will be submitted next week to the National Assembly.
Joof detailed that The GTTI 2017 audit and institutional reports are ready and will be submitted on Wednesday (yesterday). He said they are currently working on the 2018 reports which will be ready by September 2020 and that of 2019 will be ready by October 2020.
He told the lawmakers that the UTG has submitted its annual reports to the National Assembly up to 2016, while those of 2017, 2018 and 2019 are being compiled for submission to the National Assembly latest August 2020.
He stressed that the UTG’s audited financial statement for the year ended 31st December 2016 and 31st December 2017 has been considered by the UTG Governing Council and has been submitted to the legislature and 2018 audited financial statements will be submitted to the National Assembly in 27th July 2020.
He said the Management Development Institute has prepared its annual reports for 2018 and 2019 and will be submitted to the National Assembly by end of June 2020.
Halifa Sallah, the Member for Serrekunda asked the Minister whether the reports should not be submitted within three months before the end of the fiscal year and whether he will give assurance to the Assembly to encourage those institutions to fulfil the constitutional requirement.
Minister Joof emphasized: “certainly I agree that with the fact that this should have been done before the fiscal year, and we will vigorously pursue from our end that they are in compliance with the requirements”.