A staggering D31 million government monies used as imprest by officials under the former regime spanning from 2007 to 2013 are yet to be retired, MPs were told recently.
The Finance and Public Accounts Committee (FPAC), a parliamentary select committee last Friday presented an interim report to the whole house which revealed the names of certain officials and institutions that did not retire the imprest given to them and amounting to some 31 million dalais. The committee members presenting their interim report say that it is disturbing that D31million imprest monies are yet to be retired. The committee also noted with great concern that another millions of dalais have not been retired particularly those due from Gambian embassies and diplomatic missions around the globe. However, the deputy Accountant General indicated to the committee that most of those monies are not actual imprest but monies transferred to their embassies.
On individuals’ imprest, the FPAC noted with grave concern that over D26 million have not been retired from 2007 to 2013 and by the end of the 2015 financial year, that figure had jumped to over D31million dalasi.
The committee then referred the deputy Accountant General to guidelines in the 2016 Financial Regulations specifically on section 28 sub-section (5) which states that “the Accountant General shall not issue an imprest to an applicant who at the time of making the application, has in his or her name an imprest due for retirement.”
However, the FPAC has seen the names of individuals appearing twice on the unretired imprest list and this is against the 2016 Financial Regulations.
In the same vein, the FPAC admonished the Accountant General for the failure to ensure that all imprests are retired on their due dates because the 2016 Financial Regulation section 28 sub-section (11) is very clear: that all imprest must be retired on the last day of the financial year. Sub-section (13) further indicates that if an individual fails to retire on the due date, the permanent secretary may levy a surcharge on the imprest holder and sub-section (14) further added that disciplinary actions can be instituted to the concerned officer.
The FPAC then clearly informed the Accountant General that the 2016 Financial Regulation has all it takes for him to make sure that all officers retire their imprest on the due dates but still that did not happen and the responsibility fall squarely on his office.