Monday, April 22, 2024

LG Commission: BAC revenue collector admits spending council funds on family

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By Mama A. Touray

Kebba Sanna Jatta, another revenue collector at the Brikama Area Council, has confessed to spending council funds for personal family use while testifying before the ongoing Local Government Commission of Inquiry.

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During an examination by the commission, Jatta, a property collector, admitted to not depositing a collection of D8,000 into BAC’s bank accounts, which was inquired about due to some shortages in his submissions.

Explaining how he ended up not depositing the said amount, Jatta told the commission: “It did not happen in a day. It happened when I had shortages of D100, D200 and D500 on different days.”

Counsel Patrick Gomez asked why he would have a shortage and he responded “I used the money for my family issues. I know that it is not normal.”

Gomez further reminded him that he receives a salary, to which Jatta replied: “Anyway, I know it is not normal, sometimes we submit the money in the bank, and we do not reconcile with the Internal Audit Unit”.

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Jatta was asked to provide a list of his November 2022 collections from his cash book. However, he only reported D10,000. Counsel Gomez informed him that there was no record of his collections for November 2022.

Gomez told him that he had no record for August, September, and October 2022 in his cash book and admitted that he did not record the collections in the cash book.

Chairperson Bah inquired why the witness had not recorded the information in his cash book. After a brief silence, the witness admitted that he was unfamiliar with the operation of the revenue collection device. However, he was informed that this was not a sufficient reason to neglect to record his collections in the cash book.

When further questioned why he does not record collections from February to December 2022, Jatta responded that “during this time, [his] cash book was misplaced by the auditor and the Finance Director when the auditors requested his cash book.”

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Counsel Gomez told Jatta that he collected D30,000 in July 2022 but did not deposit it. However, Jatta replied that he could remember the said amount.

Deputy Chairperson Bah informed Jatta about alterations in the dates on the receipts. When questioned, the witness stated he did not recall the details.

The Commission observed that some deposits lacked corresponding receipts from the Council. Jatta explained that occasionally, the cashier fails to issue receipts.

When asked about the work of the Value Property Unit, the Jatta said the unit is part of the Finance Unit of the council and that they collect revenue from taxable properties. He added that the properties pay D2,000 for residential properties and D5,000 for commercial properties.

Kebba Sanna Jatta began his career at the Brikama Area Council in 1994/95 and had previously served as a car park attendant, collecting tax from commercial vehicles at Senegambia for about 6 years.

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