PAC/PEC presents 2011 Report to Assembly
Friday, April 27, 2012
of the National Assembly Select Committees on Public Accounts and Public
Enterprises on Wednesday presented before the members of the National Assembly,
the outcome of the 2011 Joint Session of the PAC/PEC committees during the
period 3rd October, 2011 to 31st January 2012.
among other things, revealed that out of the 50 public enterprises/agencies
that appeared before the Joint Session, only 37 were treated and adopted, four
deferred, seven failed to comply while two others were exempted. The
Majority leader and NAM for Serekunda East who tabled the report before members
on behalf of the speaker who is the chairman of the committees said the report
is the committee’s own findings, opinion, conclusions and recommendations on
the state of the affairs of the government of The Gambia and the public
enterprises and agencies to the president, His Excellency Sheikh Professor Dr.
Alhaji Yahya Jammeh and the government of The Gambia.
to him, appearance before the Joint Session must be seen as a process by which
the “highest oversight authority of the Republic” will hold the managements of
public enterprises/agencies accountable for the actions and decisions they have
made in the management of public resources.
be seen as a forum where good management practices are recognised and rewarded,
while bad management accounts for consideration,” he said, noting that the aim
of the exercise was not to witch-hunt any particular individual or institution
adversely, but rather meant to ensure transparency, probity and openness in all
the public institutions, to hold the heads accountable for their actions and to
ensure public corporations and agencies deliver the desired services to the
general public in an effective and efficient manner.
On individual institutions, the report revealed certain issues, concerns and gave recommendations.
Central Bank of The Gambia
Central Bank of The Gambia (CBG), the report stated that the Joint Committee
noted with concern that the Foreign Exchange Risk Management (FERM) guidelines
established by the Central Bank for its foreign exchange risk management
activities were not complied with during the period under consideration for 11
out of 12 months during the year. It recommends that the bank takes all necessary
steps to comply fully with these guidelines. It says any review or updates of
these guidelines should respond to current realities and requirements and
should be carried out only when properly authorised.
Other issues and concern that surfaced in the report include the current poor condition of the local bank notes in circulation and the insurance companies that are receiving from customers year-in-year out with little or no claim for years. It therefore, recommended for Central Bank to ensure that insurance companies fully disclose to the public all relevant articles and conditions governing each policy category prior to entry into a binding contract. Also considering the positive impact it has on the community were they exist, the Joint committee recommended that CBG through it micro-finance unit explore other sources of funding to ensure sustainability of the VISACA projects.
committee in their report observed with serious concern that the National
Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) was operating below its mandate due to
lack of skilled and qualified human resources in key areas. While noting the
efforts made since then by NARI to train additional personnel, the committee
strongly urged the management of the institute to ensure improvements in the
capacity of the institution to retain trained personnel.
Like the CBG, some other serious issues and concerns were observed in the report, which include the unpaid tax and social security liabilities of the institute’s staff (NARI) and its low compliance on GPPA procurement regulations.
National Roads Authority’s repeated failure to notice defects in works early
until after completion among other issues and concerns was also raised in the
report, which also observed with serious concern the authority’s failure to
furnish the National Assembly with the list of contractors in The Gambia as was
recommended in its 2010 Report.
therefore, recommends that the authority prioritises constructing lasting roads
than constructing many that would not last long. While the Authority was given
a tap on their back for developing a National Transport Road Policy, it was
recommended that the Authority consider charging a reasonable toll from all
bridges crossing points rather than levying a 1% surcharge on fuel prices which
would spiral through and directly affect the entire economy.
The report highlighted PAC/PEC’s dissatisfaction with the justification and explanation given by the GIA management and board and for their inability to produce the contract document between GS aviation and GIA. It therefore, recommended that GIA work with its line ministry and other relevant authorities to pursue the matter with a view to bring Jacques Zhinou and any other culprit person (s) to book.
Loans from other institutions
Committee observed that GIA’s loans from other institutions like GPA, SSHFC
have remained stagnant over the period and therefore, the committee further
recommended strongly that management takes steps to enter into payment plan
with these institutions in order to reduce its liabilities.
committee’s report on the Gambia Civil Aviation Authority noted with a serious
concern and disappointment the Authority’s inability to produce the
invoices/bills of the non-scheduled flights and that the auditors were not
provided with such by either the finance or the commercial department. It was
further revealed that the invoices in respect of passenger service charges were
not signed by a senior officer, thereby flouting financial management
The report further reveals an inconsistent depreciation charges with respect to furniture, fittings and equipment at GCAA. It stated further that the Authorityreported an impress and cash-in-hand of D49, 000 and D25, 000 respectively to which the financial instructions dictates that impress must be retired by the end of each financial year.
noted that the accounting system of IEC is not comprehensive for the scale of
their operations and that it does not include a balance sheet, depreciation
schedule and charges, cash flow statement and also has no comprehensive chart
of account and codes. The
financial position of the Commission, the report added, cannot therefore be
readily ascertained from the scanty accounts produced.
On the compliance status of the commission, it noted that IEC received a low compliance rating of 16% with the Public Procurement Act. The Joint session, therefore, recommended that the commission endeavour urgently to be fully compliant with the Public Procurement Act and adhere to the GPPA rules and regulations.
Author: Musa Ndow & Aji Fatou Faal