Thursday, July 9, 2020

PEC adjourns 2 sessions due to absence of auditors, board chair

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By Momodou Jarju

The Public Enterprise Committee (PEC) has on Tuesday adjourned two sessions due to the absence of external auditors for one enterprise and the board chair for another enterprise.
The select committee was supposed to listen to the presentation of the financial statements and activity reports for the periods of the Gambia Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) in the morning, but the engagement could not hold because the aforesaid enterprise’s external auditors were not present.

The officials of the enterprise said their external auditors were not in the country and they are expected to be back on Friday.

The chair of the committee, Hon. Halifa Sallah said the whole exercise is for them to carry out their mandate, which is to ensure that public enterprises are guided with three principles, such as decency, transparency, and probity.

“Clearly, we cannot complete a review exercise without the management letter and all these issues being looked into. The exercise would be difficult,” he said.

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Nonetheless, the engagement between the GCAA and the Select Committee is being deferred to 17th February 2020 for presentation, and on 19th February for possible consideration of the reports for the periods under review.

In the afternoon session, the Gambia Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (GCCPC) too could not engage with the committee because the chair of the board was absent.

Janet Sallah-Njie, the former chair of the GCCPC (though she presented herself as the outing chair), said she was there because the periods under review (2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018) fall within her chairmanship. The commission currently has a chair.

She said the board had a meeting and they agreed among themselves that hence she had the institutional knowledge for the periods under review; she could present the reports on behalf of the commission.

“I spoke to him (current chair) this morning and he explained to me that he has health commitment in the provinces,” Sallah-Njie said.

However, the chair of the select committee, Halifa Sallah, said the former chair is not mandated to present the reports on behalf of the commission. He added that the standard is for the committee to communicate with the board through the chair.

“But the substantive holder is the one responsible to appear before us and to make that known to us; to indicate that the board has actually mandated you (former chair) to be the presenter before this committee,” Sallah said.

Meanwhile, the engagement amid the committee and the commission was then adjourned until further notice.

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