By: Kebba AF Touray
The Finance and Public Accounts Committee (FPAC) of the National Assembly, while scrutinising the Budget Estimates for the National Audit Office (NAO), reduced the budget estimates on the increment of salaries and allowances, revolving loans for NAO officials, maintenance of Vehicles among others.
This development arose when N.A.O officials appeared before the said Committee on Wednesday 22nd November 2023 for the scrutiny of their budget during the ongoing bilateral consultation on their 2024 draft estimates of revenue and expenditure.
During the bilateral, the NAO was engaged in the increment in the salaries and allowances, and the audit officials explained that the said increment of salary and allowance estimates from D43 Million to D57 million is due to the lack of adequate staff.
This, as explained by the NAO, has led to a situation whereby they increased the estimate to be able to cater for both the targeted incoming staff and those on their current payroll which is in total of 82 personnel.
“This is to ensure that we have the number in terms of personnel to ensure that we are able to effectively conduct a value-for-money audit,” said NAO personnel.
FPAC thus resolved to cut D20 Million (Twenty Million Dalasi) from the said budget line on salaries and allowances.
On the NAO revolving loan scheme fund budget line which is to the tune of D6 Million (Six Million Dalasi), FPAC has resolved that the fund be reduced to D3 million (Three Million Dalasi).
On the travel expenses budget line of NAO totaling D14,182,000.00 (Fourteen Million One Hundred and Eighty-two Thousand Dalasi), FPAC after scrutiny of the budget resolved to cut D2,182,000 (Two Million One Hundred and Eighty-Two Thousand Dalasi).
On the maintenance of the vehicles budget line, the total estimate amounts to D1,540,000 (One Million Five Hundred and Forty Thousand Dalasi), the committee cut the sum of D540,000 (Five Hundred and Forty Thousand Dalasi).
On the conference, seminar, and workshops budget line in the total of Two Million One Hundred Thousand Dalasi (D2,100,000), the committee also cut a total of Five Hundred Thousand Dalasi (D500,000).
The miscellaneous budget line was also cut to One Hundred and Ninety-Eight Thousand Dalasi (D198,000) and was allocated Six Hundred Thousand Dalasi (D600,000).
On printing expenses, the committee also cut from D525,000 (Five Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Dalasi) an amount of 225,000 (Two Hundred and Twenty-Five Thousand Dalasi).
For the training budget line of the NAO which is estimated at D515,000, the FPAC has resolved to maintain the estimated amount for the training budget line.
The general pensions budget line was fortunate to be maintained without cuts by FPAC as it was resolved by the committee to be maintained as estimated which stands at D212,000 (Two Hundred and Twelve Thousand Dalasi).