Finance

PART 1: PUBLIC FINANCE

Taxation Article 149.
(1) No taxation shall be imposed except by or under the authority of an Act of the National assembly
(2) An Act of the National Assembly may make provision -
  1. for the collection of taxes proposed to be imposed or altered in a Bill which has been presented to the National Assembly during a period of four months from the date of presentation or such longer period as may be specified in a resolution passed by the National Assembly after the Bill has been presented; or
  2. for any local government authority established by law to impose taxation within the area for which such authority is established, and to alter such taxation, but no provision shall include the power to waive any tax due.
(3) Where any law confers power on any person or authority to waive or vary a tax imposed by any law, the exercise of that power in favour of any person or authority shall be subject to the approval of the National Assembly.  

Consolidated  Fund Article 150  
(1) There shall be a Consolidated Fund into which shall be paid
  1. all revenues or other money raised or received for the purpose of, or on behalf of, the Government, and
  2. any other money raised or received in trust for, or on behalf of the Government
(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), and Act of the National Assembly may provide-
  1. for the payment of particular revenue or other money into some other fund established for a specific purpose; or
  2. for the retention of revenue or other money by the department of Government that received it for the purpose of defraying the expenses of that department .
Withdrawal from Consolidated and other funds  Article 151
(1) No money shall be withdrawn from the Consolidated Fund except :
  1. to meet expenditure charged on that Fund by this Constitution or an Act of the National Assembly; or
  2. where the issue of that money has been authorised by an Appropriation Act, a supplementary Appropriation Act or in accordance with subsection (4) of this section.
(2) No money shall be withdrawn from any other public fund of The Gambia unless the issue of that money has been authorised by law.
(3) No money shall be withdrawn from the Consolidated Fund or any other public fund of The Gambia (including a withdrawal under subsection (4)) unless the withdrawal has been approved by the Auditor-General or a member of the National Audit Office designated by him or her for the purpose and it is made in the manner prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly.
(4) If the appropriation Bill in respect of any financial year has not been passed into law by the beginning of that financial year, the President may authorise the withdrawal of money from the Consolidated Fund for the purposes of meeting expenditure necessary to carry on the services of the Government for a period not exceeding four months from the beginning of the financial year.
(5) The withdrawal of funds in accordance with subsection (4) shall not exceed one third of the sums authorised for the relevant services by the Appropriation Act for the immediately preceding financial year.
(6) Where money is charged on the Consolidated Fund or any other public fund by law, it shall be paid out of that fund to the person or authority to whom it is due.  

Annual estimates And appropriation Article 152  
(1) The President shall cause the Secretary of State responsible for finance to prepare and lay before the National Assembly at least thirty days before the end of the financial year, estimates of the revenue and expenditure of The Gambia for the following financial year. The estimates shall include any estimates which, under this Constitution, are to be submitted directly to the President by the Chief Justice or any other authority for presentation by the President to the National Assembly.
(1A) The National Assembly shall, within fourteen days of the estimates being laid before it, give consideration to and approve the estimates.
Subsection (2) (Deleted by No. 6 of 2001)
(3) when estimate of expenditure have been approved by the National Assembly, an Appropriation Bill shall be introduced in the National Assembly for the issue from the Consolidated Fund of the sums necessary to meet that expenditure (other than expenditure charge on the Consolidated Fund), under separate votes for the several services required and for the purposes specified there in.
(3A) The National Assembly shall, within seven days of the introduction of the Appropriation Bill, give consideration to and pass the Bill.
(4) In addition to presenting the estimates for the following financial year, the President may cause to be prepared and presented to the National Assembly-
  1. fiscal and monetary programmes and plans for economic and social development covering periods exceeding one year, and
  2. estimates of revenue and expenditure in respect of such programmes and plans.
(5) The chief Justice and any other authority which is entitled to draw up its own estimates for presentation by the president to the National Assembly shall provides the President with such estimates at least ninety days before the end of the previous financial year.
(6) An Act of the National Assembly may make provision to give effect to this section.  

Supplementary Appropriation  Article 153
(1) subject to section 154, if in respect of any financial year it is found that the amount appropriated under the Appropriation Act is insufficient or that a need has arisen for a purpose for which no amount has been appropriated by that Act a supplementary estimate showing the sums required shall be laid before the National Assembly before the expenditure has been incurred.
(2) Where a supplementary estimate or estimates have been approved by the National Assembly, a supplementary appropriation Bill shall be introduced into the National Assembly for the appropriation of the sums so approved.
Provided that the President shall not authorise any expenditure from the contingencies Fund in excess of one percent of the estimates approved by the National Assembly for the current year before he or she has caused a supplementary estimate in respect of such excess a expenditure to be presented to the Nation Assembly.
(3) where any advance is made from the Contingencies Fund, a supplementary estimate shall be presented, and a Supplementary Appropriation Bill shall be introduced for the purpose of replacing the amount so advanced with ninety days of the advance being made.  

Loans Article 155
(1) the National Assembly may by resolution supported by the votes of a majority of all the members, authorise the Government to enter into an agreement for the granting for a loan out of any public fund or public account.
(2) An agreement to which subsection (1) refers shall be laid before the National Assembly and shall not come into effect until it is approved by the National Assembly.
(3) No loan shall be raised by the Government on behalf of itself or any other person or authority otherwise than by or under the authority of an Act of the National Assembly.
(4) An Act of the National Assembly authorising the raising of a loan shall provide -
  1. that the terms and conditions of a loan shall be laid before the National Assembly and that the loan agreement shall not come into operation until they have been approved by the National Assembly; and
  2. that any money received in respect of a loan shall be paid into the Consolidated Fund or some Other public fund of The Gambia.
(5) An Act of the National Assembly may provide for the application of this section, with any necessary modifications, to -
  1. any guarantee by the Government; or
  2. an international business or economic transaction to which the Government proposes to become a party.
(6) The President shall, at such times as the National Assembly may require, present to the National Assembly such information as he or she may have relating to -
  1. the granting of loans, their servicing and repayment;
  2. the payment into the Consolidated Fund or other public fund of money derived from loans raised on institutions outside The Gambia
Salaries etc.charged on Consolidated Fund  Article 156
(1) The salaries and allowance, and the retirement benefits, of the holder of the offices to which this section applies shall be a charge on the Consolidated Fund.
(2) This section applies to the offices of -
  1. the President and the Vice-President ;
  2. the Speaker
  3. a judge of a superior court;
  4. a member of the Independent Electoral Commission;
  5. the Auditor general;
  6. the Ombudsman; and
  7. the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The Public Debt Article 157
(1) The public debt of The Gambia shall be a charge on the Consolidated Fund and such other public fund as an Act of the National Assembly may prescribe.
(2) for the purposes of this section, the public debt includes interest on the debt, sinking fund payments and redemption money in respect of that debt, and all costs, charges and expenses incidental to the management and repayment of that debt.  

PART 2: THE AUDITOR GENERAL AND THE NATIONAL AUDIT OFFICE

The Auditor General  Article 158
(1) There shall be an Auditor-General whose office shall be an office in the public service.
(2) The Auditor-General shall be appointed by the President after consultation with the Public Service Commission.
(3) Before assuming the functions of his or her office the Auditor General shall take and subscribe to the prescribed oaths.
(4) Subject to the other provisions of this section, a person holding the office of Auditor-General shall vacate his or her office when he or she attains the compulsory retirement age, or upon the termination of his or her appointment by the President.
(5) A person holding the office of Auditor General may be removed from office only for inability to perform the functions of his or her office (whether from infirmity of mind or body or from any other cause) or for misbehaviour or incompetence.  

National Audit Office Article 159.
(1) There shall be a National Audit Office in the public services of which the Auditor General shall be the head, and the other members which shall assist the Auditor General in the performance of the functions conferred on him or her by this Constitution or any Act of the National Assembly.
(2) Subject to any Act of the National Assembly, the staff of the National Audit Office shall be appointed by the Auditor-General after consultation with the Public Service Commission, and, in the case of such senior or professional staff as may be prescribed by regulations of the Public Service Commission.
(3) The accounts of the National Audit Office shall be audited by an appropriately qualified auditor or firm of auditors appointed by the Finance and Public Accounts Committee.
(4) The Auditor General shall submit the annual estimates of expenditure for the National Audit Office for the following financial year to the President for presentation to the National Assembly in accordance with this Constitution. The President shall cause the estimates to be placed before the National Assembly without amendment, but may attach to them his or her own comments and observations.  

Functions of Auditor General Article 160.
(1) The Auditor General shall-
  1. before any money is withdrawn from the Consolidated Fund or any other public fund, ensure that the withdrawal is in accordance with the provision charging the same on that fund or the relevant Appropriation Act or other Act of the National Assembly and that it complies with the procedures prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly;
  2. satisfy himself or herself that money charged on the Consolidated Fund or other public fund, or appropriated by an Act of the National Assembly, and expended, has been applied for the purpose for which it was so charged or appropriated, and that expenditure conforms to the authority that governs it;
  3. at least once in every year audit and report on the public accounts of The Gambia, the accounts of all offices and authorities of the Government of The Gambia, the accounts of the courts, the accounts of the National assembly and the accounts of all enterprises;
  4. within six months of the end of the immediately preceding financial year to which each of the accounts referred to in paragraph (c) relates, report to the National Assembly on the accounts and draw attention to any irregularities in the accounts audited and to any other matter which, in his or her opinion, ought to be brought to the notice of the National assembly;
  5. after his or her annual reports on the accounts of the Government of The Gambia, of all offices and authorities of the Government, of the courts and of the National Assembly have been discussed in the National Assembly, cause the same to be published for public information:
  6. Provided that where there is any undue delay in the discussion of any such accounts in the National Assembly, the Auditor General may publish his or her report in advance of such discussion; and
  7. exercise such other functions as may be conferred on him or her by an Act of the National Assembly.
(2) In the exercise of his or her functions under this Constitution or any other law, the Auditor General shall -
  1. at all times carry out economic efficient and effective examination to satisfy himself or herself that public funds are spent in such manner as to reduce waste, eliminate in- efficiency and maximise the benefits to be gained from the use of resources;
  2. have power to disallow any item of expenditure which is contrary to law and to surcharge:
    • the amount of any expenditure so disallowed upon the person responsible for incurring or authorising the expenditure; or
    • any sum which has not been brought into account upon the person by whom that sum ought to have been brought into account; or
    • the amount of any loss or deficiency upon any person by whose negligence or misconduct the loss or deficiency has been incurred.
(3) A person aggrieved by any disallowance or surcharge made by the Auditor-General may appeal to the High Court
(4) The Auditor-General and any member of the National Auditor Office authorised by him or her shall have power to call for and inspect all books, records, returns, reports and other documents in the exercise of the functions conferred upon him or her by this Constitution or an Act of the National Assembly and to make such enquiries and to call such witnesses who, in his or her opinion, have any responsibilities, in relation to the accounts referred to in subsection (1).
(5) Wherever discrepancies of a criminal or fraudulent nature are discovered during the audit of accounts by the Auditor-General, he or she shall immediately cause a report of his or her findings to be submitted to the inspector-General of police.
(6) Where the Government holds a minority interest in any company, the Auditor-General may exercise, on behalf of the Government, the power to inspect books of account of the company and report to the Government.
(7) In the exercise of his or her functions under this Constitution or any law, the Auditor General shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority.
(8) Nothing in this Constitution shall preclude the Auditor-General, at the request of the head or governing body of any public body, corporation or institution referred to in subsection (1) (c), or on his or her own initiative, from carrying out any special audit of such body, corporation or institution; and where he or she caries out such a special audit, it shall be reported to the finance and Public Accounts Committee.
(9) The Finance and Public Accounts Committee of the National Assembly may extend the time within which any such report as is referred to in subsection (1) (d) shall be made to the National Assembly.  

PART 3: THE CENTRAL BANK

Establishment Of Central Bank Article 161.
(1) There shall be a Central Bank of The Gambia.
(2) The Central Bank shall be the only authority to issue the currency of The Gambia.
(3) The Central Bank shall be the sole banker of the Government and it shall be the principal depository bank for all funds raised for, or on behalf of, the Government.
(4) The Central Bank shall-
  1. promote and maintain the stability of the currency of The Gambia;
  2. direct and regulate the financial, insurance, banking and currency system in the interest of the economic development of The Gambia;
  3. encourage and promote sustainable economic development and the efficient utilisation of the resources of The Gambia through the effective and efficient operation of a banking and credit system;
  4. exercise such other functions as may be conferred on the Central Bank by an Act of the National Assembly;
(5) It shall be the duty of the Central Bank to ensure that money paid to or received for and on behalf of the Government is recorded in proper books of account in accordance with recognised accounting standards. It shall ensure that all withdrawals from the various Government accounts with itself are properly authorised in accordance with this Constitution and any Act of the National Assembly and that the overdrawing on any of the Government’s accounts with itself is permitted only if so authorised.  

The Board of the Central Bank  Article 162
(1) The authority of the Central Bank shall vest in the Board of Directors of the Bank which shall Comprise-
  1. a Chairman, who shall be the Governor and Chief Executive of the Bank; and
  2. four other Directors
(2) The members of the Board of Directors shall be appointed from among persons of standing and experience in financial matters by the President, in consultation with the Public Service Commission.
(3) Subject to the provisions of this section the Directors, other than the Chairman, shall be appointed for a term of two years and the appointments shall be made with a view to ensuring that no more than two such Directors; terms of office expire in any one year. Such Directors may be reappointed for a further term.
(4) Any Director may be removed from office by the President if-
  1. he or she is convicted of an offence involving dishonesty or fraud;
  2. he or she is declared bankrupt or makes a composition with his or her creditors;
  3. he or she is unable to perform the functions of his or her office due to infirmity of mind or body or for any other cause; or
  4. he or she knowingly engages in any activity detrimental to the interests of the Central Bank.
(5) A Director shall have the right to be heard in person or by his or her legal representative against any proposal to remove him or her.
(6) Where a Director is, by reason of illness which is believed to be of limited duration, unable to perform the functions of his or her office, the President may appoint a suitably qualified person to act for such Director.
(7) Except with the approval of the National Assembly, neither the governor nor any General Manager of the Central Bank shall hold any other office of profit or emolument or occupy any other position carrying the right to remuneration for the rendering of services.
(8) Nothing in this section shall be construed as prohibiting any Director, other than the Governor, from conducting business with the Central Bank or any other person or authority, provided he or she declares his or her interest in writing to the Board of Directors and abstains from participating in any meeting of the Board at which a matter in which he or she has such an interest is a subject for discussion.
(9) The Broad of Directors shall regulate its own procedures and may make rules and give directions to regulate the administration of the Central Bank and the conduct of its business.
(10) Within three months following the end of its financial year, the Central Bank shall submit to the National Assembly a report of its activities and business for the previous year.
(11) In the performance of its functions, the Central Bank shall be subject to the direction and control of the Ministry of Finance, in accordance with the Central Bank Act, of any Act of the National Assembly amending or replacing the said Act.
(12) The Central Bank shall have regular consultations with the President and any other relevant authorities or agencies.