By Kebba Secka

The Management of the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA), was among the institutions that presented their activity report and financial statements to the National Assembly’s Finance and Public Accounts Committee, Chaired by Speaker Mariam Jack Denton.

Presenting the report on behalf of GRA management, Commissioner General Yankuba Darbo began by clarifying that the financial statement report that is presented, contained subventions received from Government, and not the revenue generated during the year under review. He said the revenue generated during the year under review was presented before the august body by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs through the Accountant General’s office. ”GRA is an autonomous body mandated to administer revenue loses and assess the collection of resources as well as account for them,” said Darbo.

On revenue performance for the year under review, Commissioner General Darboe said 7.8 billion dalasi which is equal to 94% of the annual revenue target, represents 21% of the GDP of the same year. ”The revenue collection of the authority represents an annual growth of 279 million or about 4%, compared to the year 2015,” he told Lawmakers. According to Darboe, while the gain in 2016 was impressive, it was challenging for GRA too, due to a significant drop in global oil prices, the three month border impasse, the low tourist arrivals as a result of hostile political climax among others. He gave an example that the projected revenue from import duty and VAT for oil product worth about 1.7 billion, which is estimated at 20% or 80.9 billion, in border post collection compared to 2015. He further explained that the border impasse that lasted for three months, resulted in a 20% or 18.9 million dalasi drop in border post collection for the same year. ”The Government decision to ban the importation of plastic bags, resulted to many business closures. The revenue impact of this decision is estimated at one hundred million dalasi,” the GRA Boss told deputies. He added that the contribution of this business in the county’s economy, gives an estimated of 165 million dalasi.

Pa Modou Ann and Mr Gomez of the Gambia Public Procurement Authority (GPPA), said Section 29 of GPPA Act 2014, dictates that the procurement organisation should engage in procurement planning with a view to control the maximum value for money expenditures, or other objectives set out in Section 3, in accordance with the applicable regulatory procedures.

Speaking further on the GRA’s report, Mendy said it was observed that the institution has submitted an annual procurement plan for the period under review as stipulated in Section 29 of the Act. He said GRA was found to be compliant with the contract committee requirement which is in accordance with Section 49 of the GPPA Act, 2014. He continued to inform deputies that GRA was found to have established a special compliant unit which composition complies with Section 51 of the GPPA Act. Listing the variable where GRA was found to be compliant, Gomez named the functional procurement unit, submission of monthly review reports to the authority, filling of GPPA requisite forms in accordance with Regulation 2003 and the GPPA Act 2008.

GPPA observed that GRA must be compliant with the variable of records of performance and assessment of the year under review, as this was not updated. Gomez also recommended that the institution must give out forms to be filled in order to assess whether its performance is satisfactory or not.

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