Jul 16, 2008, 9:47 AM
In its 2009 report, the joint session of the Public Accounts Committee/Public Enterprises Committee on the annual report and financial statements of public enterprises and agencies raised a series of concerns on the running and management of certain enterprises and agencies in the country.
The report, which follows a statutory exercise of the committee to perform lawful checks, scrutiny and oversight over public enterprises and agencies to ensure that the government is accountable to the people, highlighted among others the current state of affairs at the Gambia Public Transport Corporation (GPTC).
The committee in its 87-page report covering 33 different enterprises and agencies, "noted with grave concern the absence of a national transport system and urges the GPTC and its line ministry to give a comprehensive report on the GPTC to have an understanding of the causes that led to GPTC's current situation and to recommend the way forward".
It also noted with concern, the non-presentation of audited accounts by the GPTC from 1999 to date, of which the "committee holds the former Board Chairman and Managing Director liable for the arrears of accounts for the entire period up to the time they left office". "The committee also observed that while the GPTC is bemoaning the lack of funds to pay external auditors, it is paying for the services of an inactive board," the report highlighted.
The committee however recommended that the GPRC with its line ministry write a comprehensive report on the current situation of the institution including staff number and positions, both actual and projected activities being conducted, number of buses they have, how much they receive as subvention and how it is spent.
On the National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC), the committee noted with concern, the variation in the reported figures of cash power systems, which it noted, could lead to under/over reporting of revenue under cash power sales.
"The Joint Committee notes with concern, the limited number of cash power selling outlets. It therefore recommends that NAWEC provides more cash power selling outlets not only to generate revenue but to enhance accessibility by customers," the reports indicated.
The committee recommends the prompt maintenance of defective transmission and distribution networks to minimize the loss of power. It also recommends safety precautions on the distribution network in the case of fire outbreaks.
It further recommended that the institution be represented in loan negotiations meant for them given that NAWEC have the expertise and are in a position to better negotiate, to ensure safe, effective and affordable provision of utility services to its customers.
Read our subsequent issues for detail stories on other public enterprises and agencies.