The Director of the Municipality and Area Council Unit at the National Audit Office (NAO), Bakary Trawally, on Tuesday confirmed to Commissioners that the Mansakonko Area Council (MKAC) did prepare unrealistic budgets.
The auditor corroborated the issue, which was outlined in the Mansakonko Area Council 2019 Audit Report.
He acknowledged the inclusion of "un-receivable revenue" elements into the council's budget, adding that compared to their annual budgets, the revenue collected was usually very low.
"The budget is not just to put figures, but it needs to be realistic at least because it is a plan. But in preparing it, you have to put realistic assumptions in place," he said. "Then if you see that this particular revenue line has not been coming, you have not been collecting it, and you still put it in your budget, in your forecast, that means you are inflating."
For instance, he stated that the 25% subvention from the central government continued to be included in the budget although the council had not been receiving it.
In the same vein, Mr Trawally also raised the issue of incomplete establishment registers, which were supposed to contain complete personal details and portfolio of staff. He lamented that the details of most staff were not complete.
On the issue of performance of the Mansakonwo Area Council, Mr Trawally stated: "We inspected the Soma Market as part of our review and made these observations. We found an entire component of toilet facility shut as a result of defects. These have resulted in the sharing of the only main component by both males and females. This means the facility is simply inadequate for the whole market to share.
"There was also no water facility installed at the facility resulting in users having to provide water for themselves, even though they had to pay for its use. The restroom attendant was also fund not equipped with any safety gear such as uniforms and gloves. The staff at the market did acknowledge the situation at the market but could not provide us with reason for the continued poor sanitation. The management of the council did not also provide us with an explanation since our query was with them.
"During our observation, we noted the difficulty the users faced with the situation. Many we interviewed complained about the poor state of the facility, which at the time caused them to resort to neighbour houses for the restroom needs."
Also, he lamented inadequate water supply at the market, as there was only one tap shared by all users at the time while the others were left in a state of disrepair. Poor dumpsite for waste which led to indiscriminate dumping at the Bureng market that hosted the weekly Lumo was also mentioned.
The auditor also acknowledged the state of disrepair and poor condition of the council's Bureng Guest House, which he said was "significantly underutilised".
Barrow presides over Economic Council Meeting
US re-echoes support to Jammeh victims