Friday, April 12, 2024

Tax collector faults revenue collection device for entering incorrect figures

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By Mama A. Touray

After the Commission observed that she conducts revenue collection without the standard procedure of submission and reconciliation within the council, revenue collector Jainaba Cham on Monday told the Local Government Commission that the device she uses for revenue collection at the Brikama Area Council is prone to errors, often entering incorrect figures.

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Cham made this testimony when she was questioned about the cash book she provided to the commission, which covered her collection from 2021 to date for rates and taxes.

It was noted from the cash book that the witness does revenue collections without going for submission and reconciliation in the Council.

“You made collection between 28th September 2022 and 5th October 2022, but you did not go for submission and reconciliation,” Counsel Gomez told the witness.

She responded: “I see it. If I don’t have anything to submit, I don’t go for submission”.

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Counsel Gomez replied: “But the amount is there. Remember, this was a time you were using the revenue collection devices, and the records are there for the collections you make”.

She replied that the revenue collection device she was using used to make mistakes and input figures that were wrong, and Gomez informed her that the machine would indicate the date, time and the person whom she made the collections from.

Cham admitted that the machines are difficult to use.

Chairperson Jainaba Cham also noted from the cash book provided by the witness that there were no collections in February, March, August, September, and October and asked Cham where the collections were.

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Responding to this, Cham told the commission that she took her annual leave in February 2023 and left Dawda Njie, who was a valued property collector for the BAC to do collection on her behalf and deposit in the account in her name.

Chairperson Bah asked the witness the whereabouts of the money collected in February and March, and she responded that she did not know how that happened.

Jainaba Cham is a resident of Pipeline and a rates and taxes collector. The 55-year-old began working in the Council in 2001. She has been collecting revenue in Kerr Serign for nine (9) years.

On how she does her job, Jainaba Cham explained that she begins her job with an assessment, after which she issues invoices with a one-week payment deadline. She then starts the collection process.

Cham will appear before the commission once again to present her old cash book from 2018 to 2020 and to answer further questions related to the shortages discovered.

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