By Edrissa Jallow, @EdrissaJallow10.
The Chairperson of Parliament’s Finance and Public Accounts Committee (FPAC), Hon Alhagie S. Darboe announced that his committee will instruct the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to investigate the Ministry of Health (MoH) for failing to account for D1.6 Million in missing vouchers as captured in Parliament’s 14th September 2023 resolution.
During the Third Ordinary Session of the 2023 Legislative Year, Parliament passed a resolution giving various institutions 10 days to respond by paying all outstanding sums of money or accounting for them. Failure of which Parliament would instruct the IGP to commence an investigation on the monies owed.
The order for the Police to investigate the Ministry of Health was signalled by the FPAC Chair on Wednesday 15th November 2023 during an interface with the National Audit Office (NAO) and the Accountant General’s Office to review responses to Parliament’s resolutions.
According to the Parliamentary Resolution passed on 14th September 2023 “the Permanent Secretary [at the] Ministry of Health must produce missing payment vouchers in respect to — one million six hundred and fifty thousand dalasi (D1,650,000) to the Auditor General and the FPAC on or before 25th September 2023; failure of which, the Inspector General of Police must launch an investigation immediately and report back to FPAC within 90 days”.
During the meeting, Chairperson Darboe asked the NAO to give an update on any developments regarding the aforementioned missing vouchers.
In response to the FPAC Chair, NAO Director of Audit Extraneous, Serign Mass Jallow explained that the “payment reviewed was raised by the Accountant General department [and made] to Brikama sub-treasury. However, [more importantly] — the supporting document for onward payment of the allowances to relevant beneficiaries were not presented”.
The NAO representative explained that the information shared was the same as received during the original audit. Meaning that no new information was shared to address the resolutions. “This is the same information provided during the audit as a result, the issue remains unresolved,” Director Jallow informed the committee.
In response to the NAO’s update, the FPAC Chairperson informed fellow committee members that the matter would be sent to the IGP for investigation.
“Hon Members we’ve heard the reading from the National Audit that the situation remains unresolved and as indicated in the resolution, they have failed to provide the said missing voucher, and in that regard [this] should be forwarded to the inspector general [of Police] for investigation,” announced the FPAC Chairperson.