Sep 24, 2012, 11:09 AM
The Public Accounts Committee and Public Enterprises Committee of the National Assembly Thursday adopted the 2012 Annual report and financial statement of the National Centre for Arts and Culture (NCAC).
Presenting the report before members of the National Assembly, NCAC Director General Baba Ceesay said the NCAC administrative structure was designed to accommodate all the ramifications of the country’s artistic productions as well as to cater for the preservation, promotion and development of cultural heritage.
However, he added, its effectiveness continues to be compromised by inadequate resources, especially finance and staffing.
Staff shortage was apparent in all departments including the Office of the Director General, he said, adding that in the absence of a Director of Finance and Administration, the Director General would be bogged down with routine administrative and financial matters.
The NCAC director explained further that the Director of Literature, Performing and Fine Arts (DLPFA), responsible for cultural manifestations, such as festivals and national celebrations, in addition to the burgeoning film, beauty pageants and fashion industries, continues to have only two members of staff, while the Department of Copyright is manned by only one person - the director.
However, 2012 saw the amelioration of the institutions’ staffing situation through the appointment of three new staff - the DLPFA, senior research and documentation officer, and a museums and monuments officer, he said.
The period also witnessed the assumption of office of a new board chair, he stated, saying the new appointments have certainly reinvigorated the institution as reflected in the increased programme of activities and positive press coverage on the institution.
On museum, the NCAC director general told members of the PAC/PEC that the highpoint of the year was the visit of the Taiwan President in April 2012.
Another major visit was that of Reverend Jesse Jackson in August 2012, he said, adding that both visitors were taken on a conducted tour by museum staff and wrote favorable comments about the museum in the visitor‘s register.
Sulayman Banja from the RTC, in delivering his auditor’s report, said they had audited the financial statements on pages 5 through 12, which have been prepared under the historical cost convention.
Respective Responsibilities of Directors and Auditors
The directors of the NCAC are responsible for the preparation of the financial statements, the report states.
“It is our responsibility as auditors to form an independent opinion, based on our audit, on those statements and to report our opinion to them,” Mr Banja said.
He continued: “We conducted our audit in accordance with the International Standards on Auditing. An audit includes examination, on a test basis, of evidence supporting the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements.
“It also included an assessment of significant estimates and judgement made by the Directors in the preparation of the financial statements, and of whether the accounting policies are appropriate to the circumstances of the National Centre for Arts and Culture, consistently applied and adequately disclosed.”
NAMS’ comments after adopting the report
Alhagie Sillah, member for Banjul North, in his comment, said it was always good to recognize where the institution started from, saying as members of the National Assembly, it was very important that they looked at the film industry because it was always dangerous competing when “you do not know what you are competing for”.
“We should set NCAC and GRTS to get connected together to market the film industry,” he added.
Njie Darboe, member for Jarra West, said Gambian musicians “are doing very well” but there is still room for improvement.
He told the NCAC management to look at the dress code of musicians, especially when they are performing on stage, saying they should put on the right dress when they are performing on stage because the whole world is watching them.
He also noted that the language they use should be taken care of.
Hon. Lamin Jadama, member for Niamina West, thanked the NCAC for producing a very informative report.
“I am very happy that the numbers of young men and women writers are increasing,” he said, adding that the NCAC needs assistance for their subvention and commended them for clearing their social security.