FPAC Recommends IGP to Probe Alleged Fraudulent Cases

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By: Kebba AF Touray

The Finance and Public Accounts Committee (FPAC) on Monday, 18 September recommended the Inspector General of Police (IGP) of the Gambia Police Force (GPF) to immediately launch an investigation into what it referred to as ‘fraudulent cases’ across government institutions.

The Committee’s Chairman Hon. Alhagie S Darboe made this recommendation while tabling the second draft resolution on the report of 2023.

The FPAC Chairperson and National Assembly Member for Brikama North said the recommendation among others was made cognizant of the provisions of the 1997 Constitution of the Gambia, Public Finance Act, 2014, and the Financial Regulations of 2016.

He told the assembly, “A comprehensive list of all fraudulent cases across government institutions particularly the Accountant General’s Office, the Auditor General’s Office, the Inspector General of Police and the Judiciary including names, amounts and dates and their current status.”

“Failure of which, the Inspector General of the Police must launch an investigation immediately and report back to the FPAC,” recommended FPAC.

Some of the resolutions made as delivered by Hon. Alhagie S Darboe on which the IGP has been recommended to launch an urgent investigation including but not limited to the following alleged fraudulent cases.

He said that FPAC resolved that all reconciled government transactions indicated in the 2019 audited accounts be reconciled by the Accountant General before the end of the financial year, 2023 and the report be sent to FPAC.

FPAC recommended that the Finance Ministry must provide a written explanation to the FPAC on or before 28 September 2023, the reasons why 404 virements totaling D2, 687,362,341.40 were made over the maximum threshold of seventy-five percent.

He said, “The Secretary-General at the Office of the President and the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Works must provide a written explanation to the FPAC as to why the approval for single source procurement for the rehabilitation work at the State House was sought after the completion of the work, on or before 28 September 2023.”

He added that the Secretary General of the Office of the President and Permanent Secretary Ministry of Works must provide a written explanation to FPAC for accepting the Banjul Drainage,  Roads and Sewage  Contract and evidence that GAI Enterprise is the most suitable and qualified contractor to carry out the project on or before 28 September.

The Accountant General, he further reported, must provide all payment vouchers and supporting documents amounting to D392,091.67 to the auditors for review on or before 28 September 2023.

“The Contracts Committee and Secretary General at the Office of the President in 2019 reimbursed the sum of D950, 000.00 being a contingency amount that they were asked to remove from the contract with GAI Construction for the rehabilitation of State House by the GPPA on or before the 28 September 2023,” he said.

Hon. Darboe also reported that the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Environment must provide to the Auditor General and FPAC all agreements they have with the Government of Senegal relating to all forfeited timber ceased on Gambian soil and all the payments made from the proceeds on or before 28September 2023.

“PURA must immediately levy appropriated fines on Jah Oil for their willful noncompliance with the regulation. The Department of Physical Planning must not issue permits for construction of fuel stations prior to PURA’s approval,” he said.

He also stated that the Youth Ministry must regularize the situation at the National Youth Service Scheme by the end of October 2023. Failure of this, he said the budget for the institution must not be considered.

Failure of all these resolutions (with the exception of the Youth Ministry), he said FPAC recommended that the Inspector General of Police must launch investigations immediately and report back to FPAC.

The resolutions were seconded by the assembly with amendments, demanding that there be accountability and transparency in the execution of the state or public funds.

The assembly said that there is a need to hold those who execute public funds to account.