The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament on Wednesday probed into financial improprieties running into millions of Ghana cedis in the accounts of a number of district educational offices in the country.

The improprieties ranged from lack of vouchers and documents to support expenditures and payment of unearned salaries to unbudgeted expenditures, unlawful withholding of capitation grants, and procurement infractions.

The committee was considering a report by the Auditor-General on the accounts of the district educational offices of the Gushegu, Savelugu, Zabzegu, Bimbila, Salaga, Mampong, Ejura, Offinso, among other districts in the Northern and Ashanti Regions.

The report also captured the accounts of educational offices in Sefwi, Akontombra, Half Assin, Axim, Biakoye, Adidome, Sogakope, Ho and Kejebi educational offices in the Western and Volta Regions.

Chaired by the Deputy Chairman, Samuel Atta Akyea, the members on the committee expressed concerns over the magnitude of the improprieties which, they said, could have been prevented to save the nation money.

The members said it was time for the government to begin surcharging individuals whose actions and inactions cost money to the state in order to reduce the spate of such maleficence.

According to the law makers, it was not proper for the directors of education to spent state resources to travel long distances to appear before the committee to answer questions bordering on infractions they had caused to the state.

David Oppong Kusi MP for Ofuasi Ayirebi, observed that almost all procurements violated procurement rules despite the existence of procurement officers and procurement committees in the various districts.

He said some of the educational offices paid for mobilization and pre-financed contracts even though the contractors had not even begun the projects.

“Sometimes they handpick contractors without going through the right process. Especially in the Nanumba District, no procurement law was followed,” he said.

Dominic Azumah, MP for Garu, added that it was unacceptable for district educational directors to continue to pay people after they had died or resigned.

He said it was imperative to surcharge officers who sat idle and allowed such practices to occur in their districts to deter others from doing same.

Mr. Atta Akyea urged the educational directors to implement the recommendations by the Auditor General to ensure that those infractions did not occur again.

He said the directors who were not there when the infractions occurred should also take up the burden of implement the recommendations by the Auditor General and ensure that the right thing was done at all times to save the nation from losing large sums of money.

He urged the directors to also refer some of the infractions to the police for prosecution because the amounts involved were too huge.

Source: spynewsagency.com

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