The Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC) has been reprimanded over its delayed audit report.

Council officials were summoned by the National Assembly Local Government Committee.

Bakary Trawally, director of audit at the Municipality and Area Councils, told the committee that the KMC audit report is “not encouraging” over its late submission to the National Audit Office.

Tarawally said there was a lack of cooperation with the auditors regarding documentation and availability. 

According to Mr Tarawally, they have given KMC officials reasonable time to respond to the auditors which they failed to follow. 

“And we were left with no other choice but finalised it [the report]. The audit has a timeline for it to be relevant, it needs completion and to be submitted on time.

“It is true that you [the mayor] don’t sign the day-to-day activities but the auditors are around making sure you create time for them to report because it will help the council.

“During the Covid pandemic there were challenges as the mayor tested positive and it wasn’t interactive as it should be otherwise,” he said. 

“Some of the issues will be solved. For subsequent times the mayor shouldn’t just rely on the fact that he didn’t sign the documents because when they say KMC it includes the mayor,” he added.

KMC mayor Talib Ahmed Bensouda responded that a mayor is a political appointee of the council and chairman of the council.

“Our role is making policies and the CEO is the chief accounting officer responsible for policy direction,” he said. 

Mayor Bensouda said the council had its own appointed CEO in 2019. But the Ministry of Local Government through the Local Government Commission decided to bring in a new CEO and director of finance which was not of their own choosing.

He added that the government-appointed Director of Finance did not have a certified ACCA qualification 

“I have the capacity to run an institution such as the council so when the audit office engages them and they did not understand what they were looking at. Over a the deputy Director of Finance  was actually doing the role of the Director of Finance.”

Bensouda continued: “We are here as observers and we don’t have the day to day activities and also the council has internal audit department but for over one year plus we are without audit director and we have written to the local government service commission three times but still no answer and KMC has no defence.

“If the CEO and the Director of Finance sign all the cheques and have access to the accounts the mayor and councillors don’t, if they do any transaction we will not be aware. We don’t have the means to detect any fraud or malpractice without internal audit department.”

Reporting by Adama Makasuba

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