The Joint Session of the Public Accounts and Public Enterprises Committee (PAC/PEC) of the National Assembly on Wednesday unanimously scrutinised and endorsed the audited accounts of the Central Government for the financial years 2012 and 2013.
In responding to the queries made by the members of the Committee, Lamin Camara the Permanent Secretary 2 at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs stated that they have taken note of the issues raised by the members considering the queries of the 2011, 2012 and 2013 reports of the National Audit Office (NAO).
He further stated that the issues of the qualified accounts have been noted and that his Ministry is aware that public financial management is the responsibility of the Finance Ministry and that they are committed to ensure that the accounts of the government are really scrutinised and well audited.
“A budget is a policy document; is an estimate and when doing a budget there must be an understanding that you are doing a budget within a framework and the framework is based on the availability of resources that the country would be able to forecast for the coming year,” he stated.
For his part, Momodou Lamin Bah, the Accountant General at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs disclosed that with regard to the foods and food services of The Gambia Armed Forces and The Gambia Prison Services, these were contracts that were attached to the supporting documents instead of three quotations for every voucher relating to these two institutions. He added that they didn’t attach the three quotations because the said quotations were obtained as part of the procurement process when they were initially procuring the services, noting that from there, the quotations would be obtained from the different suppliers once they go into contract.
“In the budgeting process you may not be able to foresee all the budget lines and what happen is during the implementation you want to realise something and then you realised that there is no particular line where you can charge the ministries or agencies concerned; right to the Ministry of Finance and say I want to execute this but there is no budget line for this; can you create one for us,” Hon. Abdou Kolley, the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs said.
Minister Kolley noted further that his Ministry would instruct the Accountant General to create a budget line and do a virement from another line that has been approved to fill into this line that has recently been created and staying within the envelope that is been approved.
by AjiFatou Faal-Sonko