Barrow commissions D82M National Audit Office complex

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

President Adama Barrow on Tuesday morning commissioned the state-of-the-art building of the National Audit Office (N.A.O.) complex along the Bertil Harding Highway in the Kanifing Municipality as part of activities making the country’s 54th Independence anniversary.

The magnificent complex was built at a tune of D82, 863.00 (eighty-two million, eight hundred and sixty-three thousand dalasis), with funding from the government of The Gambia. The edifice has been built to create conducive and adequate space for the staff to work professionally and in confidence.

The NAO for the past 24 years has been housed at the Ministry of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment, thus restricting needed expansion possibilities (in terms of staffing) while hampering effectiveness and efficiency.

Officially opening the office complex, President Barrow said: “This development is prompted by the realisation that, to be effective and efficient, public institutions and the personnel that serve in them must operate in environments that allow for maximum performance and productivity.”

The president added that as “we reform our institutions, we must transform their physical structures and appearance correspondingly.”

“We cannot succeed in The Gambia without the right type of personnel, the right type of institutions and the right type of physical structures and environment.”

Mr. Barrow said he believes strongly that the attitude and commitment of individuals in public institutions contribute to determining how taxpayers benefit from the services delivered by public servants.

The construction of the new building, he explained, falls neatly within the framework of responding adequately to all these requirements for the personnel of the NAO to function amicably and effectively.

“In view of the high level of public expectations cast on government, the National Audit Office has a crucial role to play in our institutional reform programme, which is a catalyst for nation building.”

His government, he said, is determined to strengthen the National Audit Office to foster efficiency and effectiveness in public administration.

This is a fundamental feature in any democratic system that seeks to promote accountability and good governance, and it serves to protect and maintain the integrity of government and the public sector. It is through such checks and balances that we can deliver public service for public satisfaction, he said. 

He expressed optimism that the new office environment in the magnificent building will further motivate the staff to prepare and table up-to-date annual reports in line with international best practice.

The Auditor General of the NAO, Karamba Touray, said cognizant of the wide remit given to the office, it was necessary for the office to increase its staff complement to execute its functions effectively and efficiently. “The current office space that we occupy would not allow for staff expansion in conjunction with the wide remit; necessitating the need to have a bigger and more suitable accommodation for audit operations,” he said.

The NAO, he added, is now in a position to recruit the requisite staff complement to be able to fulfill its mandate in ensuring that public officers entrusted with public funds are held accountable for their use. “This will ensure accountability and transparency in the use of public funds, which will hopefully translate into winning the confidence of the Gambian populace, development partners, local and international investors, thereby increasing economic activity, productivity and prosperity.”

Author: Momodou Jawo & Fatou Dem