By Fatou Dahaba
The draft resolution of the National Assembly on COVID-19 report by the Finance and Public Accounts Committee (FPAC) has asked the Executive Director of the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, and Director General of Gambia Tourism Board to account for all undocumented Covid-19 items within ten (10) days to the auditor General and FPAC or face possible prosecution.
The Executive Director of NDMA has been further informed to account for the oil delivery shortage by the International Commodity Insurance worth GMD 37 653 700.00. The money must be deposited to the National Treasury within ten days and notify the Auditor General and the FPAC.
The draft resolution warns the NDMA boss to provide to the Auditor General and the FPAC the certificate of confiscating the damaged food items by the Food Safety and Quality Authority (FSQA).
“Whereas the Executive Director fails to deliver the items/sum mentioned in (1, 2 and 3) above, upon expiry of the deadline, the Government of The Gambia must consider sending him on administrative leave pending the outcome of the Police investigation.”
Going further, FPAC has also asked the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health to produce the missing payment voucher respecting the payment of GMD1, 650,000.00, to the Auditor General and the FPAC.
The PS is also conditioned to recover the sum of GMD 1 165, 548. 00 being an overpayment to COVID-19 Frontline Workers and paying the sum to the Accountant General, notify the Auditor General and the FPAC.
“The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health must provide to the Auditor General and FPAC all material evidence relating to the request of quotations from the independent bidders.”
The Director General Gambia Tourism Board (GT Board) is directed to provide material evidence regarding the GMD 7, 821, 105.00 queried by Auditors to the Auditor General and the FPAC. In addition, he must also account for the GMD 202,000.00, which is a difference in the amount of money received from the government for payment to individuals in the informal sector.
FPAC also conditions the Grant Management Committee (GMC) and Gambia Press Union (GPU) to return the sum of GDM 585 159.86 to AGD as the unused money for the COVID-19 relief support to media houses.
“The Gambian embassy in Beijing, Madrid, Addis Ababa, and Abu Dhabi must return all unpaid COVID-19 money meant for Gambian students amounting to GMD 1 380, 186.08 to the Accountant General Department and notify the FPAC by the end of October 2023.”
According to the draft resolution, if an institution fails to provide this evidence within ten days, the Inspector General of Police will launch an investigation for possible prosecution. After going through the draft resolution at chambers on Thursday, September 14th, 2023, The IGP has been given three months to conduct investigations on the matter and report to FPAC, who will report back to them in plenary.