By: Alieu Jallow
During the National Assembly plenary session, Hon. Alagie S Darboe, the Chairperson of the Public Finance and Account Committee (FPAC) of the National Assembly, presented the audit report on COVID-19 and as per the report, the Ministry of Health has been instructed to produce the payment voucher for D1.650,000 within 72 hours, failing of which the voting controller will reimburse the sum.
The Auditors have revealed that despite multiple attempts, neither the Accountant General nor the agencies could provide sufficient documentation for the mentioned amount.
Additionally, the FPAC has established the Ministry of Health to be responsible for the failure of payment of allowances to some personnel mentioned in their master list, under Section 109 of the 1997 Constitution of the Republic of The Gambia.
The FPAC audit report contradicts the reports provided by the ministry and has found an inaccurate number of allowances paid to frontline workers. The report revealed an excess payment of D1, 615,548 for two hundred and twenty-seven (227) personnel, while two hundred and seventy-five (275) staff were underpaid by D1, 485,565. This underpayment mainly affected staff in URR and CRR.
The committee concluded that the Ministry of Health did not provide sufficient and appropriate evidence to support the payment of allowances to some frontline workers. The auditors found an overpayment of D1,615,548 and recommended that the vote controller recover the amount immediately.
National Assembly Member (NAM) for Upper Fulladou Bakary B Kora emphasized that the Assembly cannot accept or tolerate issues arising from some institutions. Those found responsible should be held accountable.
“I expect us to come with strong resolutions to see people that are doing it because we cannot be receiving reports over and over again. Poor data, non-adherence, we have to be serious and move this country,” he said.