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FPAC Orders Janjanbureh Area Council To Submit Missing Vouchers

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Officials of Janjanbureh Area Council at the National Assembly.

By Ramatoulie Jawo 

The Finance and Public Accounts Committee (FPAC) of the National Assembly on Wednesday ordered the Janjanbureh Area Council to submit missing vouchers to the Committee. 

FPAC made the decision during the committee’s consideration of the Janjanbureh Area Council’s reports. The missing vouchers were indicated in the National Audit Office’s report to the committee, where it is indicated that the auditors received financial claims without receipts and supporting documents to the tune of D47 thousand, that their request for the Council to present payment vouchers, but the vouchers were not presented to the audit team for their audit. The Auditor’s report also noted misclassified payments to the sum of D26,0756.00. 

During FPAC’s engagement with the Council on Wednesday, the Chairperson of the Committee, Alhagie S. Darboe asked the Council’s Former Director of Finance from the year 2021 to June 2022, Alhagie Manneh whether he received vouchers from his predecessor Baboucarr Manneh.  The latter was the Council’s Former Finance Director from 2016 to 2021.

Alhagie Manneh told the Committee that he received the vouchers but could not go through the vouchers one by one to verify. He said the vouchers were bulky at the time. 

“We did not verify the vouchers from 2019 to 2020 because they were submitted in bulk. So, we couldn’t verify them one by one at the time. We have confirmed the vouchers for 2021 that were verified,” he said. 

The Chair of the Committee further asked Alhagie Manneh why he signed the receipt of the vouchers when he knew that they were in bulk. Furthermore, he submitted that Manneh signed the receipt of the vouchers, and he accepted responsibility for them. 

In response to the chair’s submission, Alhagie Manneh told the Committee that he took the risk because he believed that the vouchers handed over to him were complete. 

“Because of the bulkiness of the vouchers, we couldn’t go through them one by one. Because it was two years of vouchers, this is why I accepted it. Thinking that it was complete at the time,” he told the committee. 

“You could not realize whether there was any missing voucher or whether they were all intact,” FPAC Chair asked Manneh. 

Manneh said he did not realize it until the auditor’s report query that there were missing vouchers. 

“We then realized that some vouchers were missing. Other vouchers are not signed, and some vouchers don’t even have a backup on them. But at the time, I did not go through them one by one to verify that every document is intact and all the vouchers,” He said. 

During the engagement, there was a lot of disagreement between the officials from the Janjanbureh Area Council. 

Hon. Kebba Lang Fofana, a member of the Committee, then told the chairperson to ask the Council to bring the missing vouchers and submit them so that they can know what to do. 

Janjanbureh Area Council is expected to return to the committee for the third time next week for the final consideration of their reports

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