FPAC Adopts NAO Activity Report

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By: Kebba AF Touray

The Finance and Public Accounts Committee (FPAC) of the National Assembly has adopted the activity report of the National Audit Office (NAO) during the consideration of their 2020 and 2021 financial statements and activity reports by Members of FPAC.

The NAO presented their reports for the fiscal year 2020 and 2021 on Monday 15 April 2024, NAO officials responded to queries made by independent auditors from HAD and Co Audit firm.

At the presentation of the NAO report, independent auditors from HAD and CO Audit firm made three main observations and these were the closing cash fund differences; the need for formal proper and effective performance staff appraisal, and governance issues.

Auditors of the HAD and Co Audit Firm in their management letter, stated during the interface that there was a closing cash fund balance difference of D1,026,107.00 (One Million, Twenty-Six Thousand, One Hundred and Seven Dalasi), and recommended for the accounts of NAO to reconcile the differences as a matter of priority.

Responding to the observation, the Auditor General explained that they have noted the finding and will consider the recommendations made.

NAO officials explained that the issue was system related and as such, management has already engaged the system administrator at the Accountant General’s Department to ensure that it is resolved before the finalization of the next audit cycle.

Mr. Ceesay explained that they have revised their policy procedure manual and made adjustments that will ensure that all discrepancies in recording cash allocations are eliminated in future.

“Probably, before the completion of the audit cycle for 2022, we will see these issues as legacy issues. Currently, NAO is part of the IFMIS accounting system and some of these challenges are as a result of systematic problems with cash allocations that are issued, when the subsequent transfer to the operational accounts of NAO is not done,” Ceesay informed FPAC Members.

This, he said, is the cause of the difference observed by the auditors in the 2020 reports of the National Audit Office.

On the recommendation of the Audit Firm for them to put in place a formal, proper and effective staff performance appraisal, AG Ceesay explained that the performance appraisal scheme has been developed and reviewed with its corresponding guidelines.

“This should be implemented once approved by the Auditor General, and I will update you that this has been approved,” he responded.

Confirming the said approval, Hassan Jatta, of HAD and Co Audit Firm told members of FPAC that this has been done.

On the recommendation for NAO to act on the governance issues, AG Ceesay said the NAO Act is currently being revised with proposed amendments including term limits, and said other matters have already been addressed in the draft bill.

Subsequently, the Finance and Public Accounts Committee (FPAC) adopted the said reports of the National Audit Office.