By Yankuba Jallow
Sittings of the Public Accounts Committee of the National Assembly (PEC), was yesterday stalled by the Gambia Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), to come with their auditors as ordered by the Committee, to present their 2015 reports. After the motion was moved for the proceedings to commence, Abdoulie Jammeh, the Director General of the GCAA, told the Committee that the auditors are indisposed, as they were out of the jurisdiction.
“The auditors are not present today. They are an international audit firm and currently have an international engagement. We expect them to be here this week,” he submitted.
Halifa Sallah, the Member for Serrekunda Constituency who doubles as the Chairperson of the Committee, indicated that the proceedings cannot go in the absence of the auditors.
“Over the years, we have experience backlogs as challenges in terms of preparation of financial and activity reports of public enterprises. The role of the Committee, is to performing its oversight function in order to ensure that public enterprises are efficient and transparent. It is the duty of the public enterprises to present their activity and financial reports to the auditors, before the end of each fiscal year,” he said.
Sallah said the vetting process helps the Committee to know their strengths and weaknesses. “This partnership helps public enterprises to stay effective and efficient,” he said. Sallah averred that the sittings cannot proceed in the absence of the auditors, and emphasized that the Committee has the powers of the High Court, but has been exercising those powers flexibly.
Jammeh pleaded that the absence of the auditors is not deliberate, and added that this is because the auditors stretched their work beyond our borders.