This is the speech read out by the Minister of Finance, Hon Seedy Keita, on 17th November 2023 at the National Assembly when laying the Audited Financial Statement of the Government of The Gambia for the Year ended 31st December 2020.
Below is the statement read out in Parliament.
I am pleased to lay before this august National Assembly the audited Financial Statements of the Government of The Gambia for the Financial Year ended 31st December 2020.
The Financial Statements consist of accounts that are under the control of the Accountant General’s Department and do not include full transactions of the State Owned Enterprises, Self-Accounting Projects and Local Governments. These entities are audited separately by External Auditors, through the Office of the Auditor General.
The Financial Statements comprise of the following:
- Consolidated Statements of Cash Receipts and Payments (International Public Sector Accounting Standard -IPSAS);
- Statements of Revenue and Expenditure – Consolidated Fund;
- Detailed Revenue and Expenditure Comparison
- Accounting Policies and Explanatory Notes.
The Financial Statements also contain additional statements, as required by Section 63 of the Public Finance Act, 2014 and Part 2 of the Cash Basis IPSAS.
- Basis of Preparation
The Financial Statements have been prepared in accordance with the following Legal and regulatory frameworks:
- 1997 Constitution
- Public Finance Act, 2014
- Financial Regulations 2016
- International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS Cash Basis)
As you may be aware, there is a strong drive for Governments to adopt international best practices. Thus, the Government of The Gambia adopted International Public Sector Accounting Standards as the basis for preparing its Financial Statements.
The adoption of IPSAS is a necessary element in strengthening the governance framework and enhancing transparency. Thus, it has enabled:
- The setting of appropriate minimum benchmarks for discharge of accountability and transparency;
- The provision of a framework against which audit is undertaken; and
- Allows improved quality and comparability of financial information reported by the public sector against the performance of other countries that have adopted IPSAS.
- Issues raised by the Auditor General and Actions Taken to remedy them
Government has taken necessary measures to address the issues arising from the audit of the Financial Statements for the year ended 31st December 2020. Details of the actions taken are provided in the Management Letter of the Auditor General. Additional information/documents and further clarifications on the unresolved issues are being collated and will be shared with the National Audit Office.
- Continuous Improvements in the Preparation and Audit of Government Financial Statements
There has been considerable improvement in the timely preparation and audit of Government Financial Statements in the recent past.
Government Financial Statements have been prepared up to 2022.
The audit of the 2021 Government Financial Statements is currently on-going, while the preparation of the 2022 Accounts has just been concluded ready for submission to the National Audit Office. This is a clear demonstration of our commitment towards the attainment of in-year reporting whereby, the Auditor General can perform continuous audit of Government activities.
- The Rwanda IFMIS initiative
Following the implementation of the IFMIS system that has been in use for almost two decades, Government continues to explore and adopt strategies to ensure its sustainability as well as reduce the dependency on international consultants.
In this vein, the Government of the Gambia is collaborating with the Government of Rwanda to come up with a home-grown IFMIS system.
- The Asset Management Policy (AMP)
The Government of The Gambia through support from AfriTac West2 has developed an Asset Management Policy (AMP) for use throughout government. This will to a great extent serve as an important pillar towards migrating to IPSAS Page 3 of 3 accruals. And it will also support the management of the Tangible and intangible assets of the government.
- The Treasury Single Account (TSA)
The implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA), through which all Government bank accounts will be consolidated at the Central Bank of The Gambia, has successfully been implemented. This has been extended to Semi-autonomous institutions such as National Assembly, Judiciary, National Audit Office and National Human Rights Commission. This has fully eliminated cash/ cheque payments.
The TSA will enhance the Government Cash Position, thereby reducing domestic borrowing.
A key tool to support the Treasury Single Account (TSA) is the implementation of a revenue collection platform which is at an advanced stage.
Over the past years, Government has been implementing series of Public Financial Management (PFM) reforms. This has resulted in the overall improvement in the quality of PFM service delivery by the Government.
In conclusion, Honourable Speaker, please allow me to once again thank all players in the Public Finance Management cycle, from policy formulation and implementation to the quality oversight function that the National Assembly is continuously discharging.
On this note, Honourable Speaker, I beg to move.