Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Gambia Football Federation: Final Report of The Disciplinary Committee Alleges Gross Irregularities

Shirt badge/Association crest
Shirt badge/Association crest (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
MEMBERS OF THE DISCIPLINARY COMMITTEE: Lawyer Gaye Sowe – Chairperson, Magistrate Ebrima Kijera – Member, and lawyer Tom Katusabe – Member – issued the following report on Monday July 16, 2013.

The Disciplinary Committee which was set up by the Normalisation Committee of The Gambia Football Federation to inquire into the conduct of the immediate past Executive Committee of the former Gambia Football Association in its management of the Association, based its inquiry on the audited financial reports and any relevant official documentation and administrative practice and recommended disciplinary action to the Normalisation Committee.

As per the GFA Constitution, the role of the GFA Executive was to guide the GFA in matters of management, policy and governance.

The powers of the Executive were set out under section 3 of the then constitution of the GFA.


The Executive was headed by the president and 3 Vice Presidents in accordance with section 1 of article 7 of the GFA Constitution. These are the accounting officers for the purposes of the Executive. They were mandated to carry out powers under section 3 of the said constitution.

An audit exercise was carried out by a Chartered Audit Firm (Augustus Prom) for the years 2009, 2010, and 2011, during with the management of the GFA were given an opportunity to explain all the queries raised by the Auditors. Consequently, a Management Letter was issued by the Auditors in respect of each of these years.

These audit reports were received by the Committee and all the queries were thoroughly scrutinised with a view to finding out the instances of gross irregularities and omissions in the management of the football association.

At the end of the exercise, the Committee came to a conclusion that the following findings of the audit exercise constituted a gross irregularities and omissions.

1. Executive and Sub-committee meeting

There is evidence of minutes of the GFA executive committee as well as Sub- committees for the period under review. This means that the decisions and deliberations of the Association’s Executive and those of its Sub- committees could not be verified. Thus the auditors could not ascertain whether financial directives and decisions of the Executive were adhered to or executed as planned. This was a clear violation of section 5 of the GFA Constitution which requires minutes of such meetings to be documented signed and kept for reference.

2. Misappropriation of FIFA Financial Assistance Money

The GFA received the sum of $US250.000 from FIFA Financial Assistance Program FAP and the Executive decided to give out the sum of D1.050.000 as loans to 24 staff members. The audit report found that no collateral was given to secure the loans and no proper procedures were followed in giving out the loans and there also a risk that some of the staff may not fully repay their loans.  In fact the Disciplinary Committee found as a fact that some of the staff are no longer in the payroll of the GFA and so the loans given to them are effectively bad debt.

More seriously, this act was a clear contravention of articles 3.2.3.3 and 3.4 of the FIFA FAP Regulations which stipulate that the FAP moneys shall be used only for football development. Ironically immediately after disbursing the staff loans, the GFA took a short term loan from the GT bank.

3. Statutory Deductions

Statutory deductions of social security and income tax were made by the GFA but not paid to SSHFC and Income Tax Department, This led to an outstanding balance of D1.545, 394.00 owed to the SSHFC and D659,072.00  as unpaid staff income tax. When viewed in relation to the D,1050.000 given as staff loans, this omission becomes all the more reckless and irresponsible.

4. Staffing

The audit review of the payroll records revealed that the staff personal files were not updated and the files do not reflect the current salaries of the staff. In addition some of the files only have appointment letters with no educational certificates or curriculum vitae. There was no salary integrated pay scale and as such it was difficult to ascertain how new staff are remunerated.

The audit report also revealed extremely high cost of personnel as the number of staff recruited increased on a yearly basis without regard to the income base of the GFA e.g. the total staff in 2008 was 17, by 2011 it was 57 and in 2012 it rose to 75. Thus by 2012, GFA owed its staff  7 months salary arrears.

5. Payment vouchers

The audit report also highlighted various instances of payments made without supporting documents attached as well as unapproved payment vouchers in the years under review. The implication of such instance was that the auditors felt they could not verify the validity or accuracy of the expenditures involved.

Findings
For such failures as highlighted in our preliminary findings, members recommended that-

Executive Committee

The executive committee in total should be banned from any future football management and governance for a period of 5 years.

As to the issue of refunds, members recommended that the refunds must be paid by the former executive, the President shall be personally responsible. The Executive reserves the right to take legal action for recovery of such monies as is recommended to be refunded;

This will serve as the penalty for all the irregularities, in-action, omissions, acts, violations, observed during the committee’s tenure of office as a whole.

Management

The management was headed by the Secretary General assisted by the Assistant Secretary General, Treasurer, Director at the National Technical Training Centre, NTTC. This comprised of top management responsible for the day to day management and technical operation of the GFA. These were professionals who ought to have exercise reasonable skills and judgement and owed a duty of care to advert financial loss to the GFA.

From the committee’s observation, they acted negligently and with due disregard to the development of football in The Gambia as a whole.

This will serve as the penalty for all the irregularities in-actions, omissions, acts violations, observed during the committee’s deliberations as a whole.

Their actions gravely injured the GFA and for this reason, the above members in the management are banned from future football management and governance at all levels amongst other for a period of 5 years.

As for the issue of refunds, members recommended that it be paid by the management; the Secretary General should be personally responsible.

The incoming Executive reserves the right to take legal action for the recovery of such monies as recommended to be paid by the former management. The committee’s recommendation in respect to other staff members still holds.

Members finally recommends to the incoming Executive Committee of the GFF to retain the service of a Lawyer for the purpose of legal action and advices on all GFF matters.

List of banned ex-officials of the FA

Executive Members

Seedy MB Kinteh - President

Omar Sompo Ceesay - 1st Vice President

Lamin K  Kolley - 2nd Vice President

Adama Samba - 3rd Vice President

Alh Omar Sowe - URR Representative

Saikouba Ceesay - CRR Representative

Wandifa Kinteh - LRR Representative

Lamin Dampha-NBR Representative

Omar Darboe - Banjul Representative

Abdou Karim  Sey – WCR  Representative

Sulayman Drammeh - KM Representative

Senior Management Staff

Jammeh EK Bojang-Secretary General

Abdou Salam Jammeh-Assistant Secretary General

Kemo Ceesay-Treasurer

Terema Dahaba-Director NTTC

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