Friday, April 12, 2024

BAC acting value property manager denies allegations of revenue suppression

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By Mama A. Touray

The acting value property manager of the Brikama Area Council, Mustapha Joof, on Monday, denied allegations of suppressing council funds when he was a revenue collector.

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It was noted from the Council’s internal audit unit in 2020 that Mustapha Joof suppressed the council fund amounting to D248,421.89.

Reacting to this audit finding before the ongoing Local Government Commission of Inquiry, Mustapha said: “I disputed this [allegedly suppressing council funds] because I don’t condone cash suppression”.

He added that this money was audited by the internal auditors and received by the principal cashier.

Upon being informed of the audit findings, he denied the allegations, stating that he had deposited his collections. However, the lodgement roll, a record of revenue collectors who come for weekly reconciliation at the Internal Audit Unit, showed that Joof does not attend these reconciliations.

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Joof provided his cash book for 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 on valued properties. It was tendered and admitted in evidence. He was asked to provide the other cash book containing information about his collections after this period which he promised to bring.

He stated that he is a resident of Brikama Kabifita and that he started working at Brikama Area Council on 31st March 2009 as a revenue collector. His written statement dated 8th November 2023 was shown to him and he confirmed it to be the statement he gave the investigators. The statement was admitted in evidence by the Commission.

Joof said his unit is responsible for coordinating and supervising value property rates collectors to ensure that revenues are collected and deposited in the BAC accounts by collectors.

On his responsibility as the manager, he said he is responsible for ensuring that collectors bank all their revenue collections in the BAC accounts and do reconciliation every Thursday with the Internal Audit Unit by tendering their bank slips for verification.

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In 2018, Joof said he was posted in Bijilo as a value property collected and he was promoted as the Acting Value Property Manager on 1st July 2021. He said he has fourteen (14) collectors under him.

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