Government payment vouchers worth over D100 million ‘not presented for audit’

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By Sanna Camara

Payment vouchers amounting to D109 million for the year ended 2009, and another amounting to D16 million for the year ended 2010 were not presented for audit to the auditor general of The Gambia.

According to Mr. Karamo Touray, this represents a gross weakness in controls [of government finances] and un-reconciled payments of more than D100 million, which he said, casts doubt on whether those payments were genuine.

Presenting the report on government’s financial statement for 2009 and 2010 to the Public Accounts Committee of the national assembly yesterday, auditor Touray lamented the unpresented vouchers for audit verifications, and said the situation needs urgent attention.

‘May lead to fraud and other irregularities’

Some 86 payments amounting to D6million for the year ended 2010 and 280 payments amounting to D76 million for 2009 were made without adequate documentation being attached to the payment vouchers, revealed Mr. Touray, noting that if left unchecked, may lead to fraud and other irregularities.

Payment vouchers amounting to D100, 000 for 2009 and D2million for 2010 were made to different individuals whose names are listed on the voucher attachment list but none of whom signed as evidence of receiving the said monies.

“There is a risk that individuals whose names are on the list may not have actually received the claimed sums and these monies may have been misappropriated,” he told the Committee.

D17 million held in various commercial banks

The Auditor General further expressed concern about the non-inclusion of “self-accounting projects” in the financial statements, making reference to accounts which have been continuously been omitted from the consolidated government financial statements over the years,

A further D17 million was held in various commercial banks but was not disclosed in financial statements for the period under review, he said, noting that the total bank balances included in the statements have been understated.

Vehicles purchased for used during the Africa Union Summit in 2006 hosted by The Gambia, and which were given to government officials on loan had no mechanism in place to monitor the payment of those loans.

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