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NAO Could Not Verify KMC’s Rate Revenue Due to Matric Access Issues

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Mayor Bensouda at the FPAC hearing

By Ramatoulie Jawo 

The National Audit Office has told the National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance and Public Accounts (FPAC) that they could not verify the Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC)’s reported rate revenue due to auditors’ inability to access the Matric system. 

The Director of Municipalities and Area Councils Mr. Bakary Trawally said KMC reported over D81 million in rates, but his office’s queries could not access the council’s systems to verify the revenue because the Matric property tax system lacks an Audit trail. 

“There was no audit trail of the matric for the property tax system in respect of rate. We were unable to access the system to confirm and validate the accuracy of the rate figures of eighty-one million seventy thousand eight and seventy-three (D81, 70,000, 873.00) reported on the revenue and expenditure statement. Our IT unit attempted to obtain data from both the front and back ends to provide finance and audit team, but no access was successful,” Mr. Trawally told the NAMs. 

Mr. Trawally said his office further noted that the matric property tax system which includes access to all the system models and functions is not interfaced with finance statements. 

“The system is not interfaced with financial statements and no reconciliation is carried out to verify the accuracy of the figures between the two systems. We further noted suspected fraud of two hundred and ninety-seven thousand nine hundred and forty-one point forty-three (D297, 941.43) in respect of the deleted rate transactions as per the council memo dated 28th December 2020 with reference number KMC finance 342. A task force was set up by the Council to investigate the matter. Our discussion with the task force members revealed that the matter was still unresolved and the amounts Unrecovered,” He disclosed. 

Mr. Trawally said due to the lack of an Audit trail, the audit team could not access the data to further investigate to ensure that no further decision was made. 

“The lack of an Audit trail will increase the risk of unauthorized use to fraud error taking place without notice. The payroll system also lacks an audit trail in respect of payroll transactions to verify and validate the accuracy of the payroll figures. In the revenue and expenditure statements, the report provided shows that the accumulated monthly salary report for the entire council retains the same total figure of salaries paid for all previous months.  This proves that even when adjustments are done in a particular month, the system is not interfaced with the financial statements, and no reconciliation is carried out to verify the accuracy between the two systems,” he revealed. 

Mr. Trawally further told the NAMs that there was no data ecosystem to manage daily collection from the mbalit project.

“The revenue and expenditure statements reported an unconfirmed balance of six thousand (D6,000) skipped bins. Whiles no figures were reported for residential Waste collections. We could not determine the actual amount made for the year due to the lack of data,” He said. 

Mr. Trawally made these remarks on Monday when KMC presents its reports before FPAC. 

KMC is expected to return to National Assembly today for consideration of its reports.

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