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FPAC Summons PKF Over Absence from Committee Hearing

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Officials From PKF

By Ramatoulie Jawo

Gambia’s National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance and Public Accounts (FPAC) held a hearing on Wednesday, February 7th, 2024, with representatives from PKF, an independent audit firm. The meeting aimed to understand why PKF failed to appear before the committee during the presentation of the Gambia Investment and Export Promotion Agency’s (GIEPA) financial statements and activity report.

FPAC passed some resolutions against PKF last week after they failed to attend the meeting where GIEPA’s report was to be considered.

Donald Charles Kaye, a Senior Partner of PKF, thanked FPAC for the opportunity to present their side of the story. He said that PKF was not disrespectful to any committee, organization, or state and that they had high standards in their work.

“We will never ever be contemptuous of any committee, an individual organization, and much more to a sovereign state, it is not our values. We will never be contemptuous. Those who know us and work with us can tell you of the high ideals that we seek for in this area that we operate, I can assure you,” he said.

He emphasized that PKF maintained a stance of respect and integrity towards all committees, individuals, organizations, and states, upholding high standards and values in their endeavours. Stressing their commitment to these principles since January, preceding the meeting invitation, he reiterated that their conduct had never been, and was not currently, marked by contempt.

Regarding their absence from the meeting, he clarified that it stemmed from a miscommunication, with information reaching them late.

Explaining PKF’s protocol, he noted that they consistently delegated their lead representative to attend committee meetings, adhering to their governance framework. Only in the event of the lead’s unavailability abroad did they dispatch an assistant.

He disclosed that PKF had engaged with the National Audit Office (NAO), proposing measures to prevent similar misunderstandings in the future. Acknowledging the regrettable nature of the situation, he cited the affirmation of their values by knowledgeable parties, including two experts from FPAC.

Finally, he underscored PKF’s unwavering adherence to the principles of justice in their submissions, mindful of the profound implications of their work.

“In whatever submissions that we make as a firm, because we have been dealing with reports, we have been guided that justice should guide our actions for the common good because we know exactly the consequences of the work that we do”, he told the members of FPAC.

In response, Hon. Kebba Lang Fofana, acting as the meeting chair, thanked PKF for their cooperation and stated the committee’s decision to defer to the National Audit Office for guidance on the matter. He emphasized that the committee would consider PKF’s input as additional information for their decision-making process.

“This is the decision of the committee that we will not reinvent the wheels. We will allow the due cost of the law to prevail that is to allow the National Audit office again to go back to the drawing board and advise FPAC”, he told PKF.

Serign Mass Jallow, representing the National Audit Office, expressed profound sorrow and regret over the current situation. He emphasized the necessity of returning to the drawing board, specifically the FPAC (Financial and Public Accounts Committee), to grant PKF (Presidency Key Finance) the opportunity to address the FPAC regarding the unfortunate events that have transpired.

He clarified that their intention is not to influence FPAC’s decision-making process, but rather to facilitate a platform for PKF to present their perspective on the matter. Jallow reiterated that the National Audit Office aims to provide comprehensive evidence to assist FPAC in reaching informed decisions, without imposing any specific course of action upon them.

“For us at the National audit, we would not want to dictate the manner in which FPAC should do their proceedings but rather to provide them with ample evidence so as it to be a guide in whatever decision FPAC would take,” he highlighted.

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