By: Kebba AF Touray
The Finance and Public Accounts Committee (FPAC) of the National Assembly says Kerewan Area Council (KAC) is being asked to reappear before them on the 27th February, 2023 for the presentation of the Council’s 2020 and 2021 Activity Reports and Audited Financial Statement.
This referral was made on Monday 30th January, 2023, during the appearance of the said Council officials for the presentation of the said reports and financial statements respectively.
This decision was reached by the committee, after an internal consultation to chart a way forward on the presentation of the reports.
Appearing before the committee, the Chief Executive Officer of the Council, Mr Samba MK Leigh, told the committee that they were scheduled to appear before the FPAC for the presentation of their aforementioned reports but that the reports are currently being audited by the National Audit Office (NAO).
“We have made some adjustments and the reports are currently being audited by the NAO. We are waiting for the Audit Office. We were audited for 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022, and we are now waiting on the audit office,” he explained.
Mr Abdoulie Khan, the Finance Director of the Council, told the committee that they have the compliance report from the Gambia Public Procurement Authority (GPPA) for 2019, but was quick to add that the compliance report for the year 2020 was audited by the GPPA, however, the council is yet to receive their audited compliance report from the GPPA.
The Area Council Chairman, Malamin IL Bojang, appealed to the committee to give them an extra week, stating that they have other commitments, coupled with numerous queries on the reports, which the council is obliged to respond to.
“The time given might not be enough for us to do what we are supposed to do to give the required response to the queries because the queries are sometimes very difficult for the council to answer within two weeks,” he appealed.
Auditor Yaya Jallow of NAO informed the committee that they have conducted the 2020 and 2021 audits and they are now working on the draft audit report, which they expect to submit soon.
“For 2019, the adjustments by the Council are yet to be done on the financial statements and it is the responsibility of Council for the adjustments,” he said.
At this point, the committee stands down for 20 minutes to make internal consultations with NAO officials, to chart a way forward on making sure that the NAO tell the committee when exactly can they complete their audit task.
On resumption of the session, the Vice Chairperson of the FPAC Committee, Kebba Lang Fofana, told the officials that the NAO Officials have committed themselves to complete auditing the reports of the Council.
He subsequently adjourned the sittings to allow the completion of the audit and for the Council members to reappear accordingly.
“Consideration of the reports is scheduled to the 28th of February 2023. This time line is given but not negotiable. I will encourage all parties to stick to this particular time line,” he challenged.