Public officials to answer for lost funds and assets

Public Accounts Committee
Public Accounts Committee

Public officials cited for financial malfeasance, loss of public money and assets in the Auditor General Report are going to be surcharged, Mr. James Klutse Avedzi, Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament, has announced.

He added that getting officials to pay for public assets lost under their watch would help to strengthen accountability in state institutions.

He said this at the ongoing public sitting of the Committee in Ho on the Auditor General’s reports for year 2015 and 2016.

He called for the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies to show proper documentation on financial transactions.

It was also important that the district auditors went the extra mile to verify any claims entered.

Mr. Avedzi warned that officials, who were unable to respond to issues raised by the Auditor’s report within 30 days after the exit conference would be billed in the report.

He raised concern about the recurring inconsistencies in fuel cost and the vehicle log book of many of the assemblies across the country and said some of them had been found to be conjuring data on vehicle use.

According to the 2015 report, eight assemblies in the Eastern Region spent a total of GH?65,465.52 on fuel they could not account for.

In year 2016 another eight assemblies could also not give explanation for an amount of GH?109,173.00 they spent on fuel.

“We believe that they manufactured the data and it’s making our work difficult. It is widespread and the solution lies in ensuring that drivers are trained on how to properly use the vehicle log book.”

He underlined the need for transport managers to ensure constant log updates.

Public officials should also follow up on issues they inherited or risk being held liable.

Dr Clement Apaak, a Member of the Committee, said data inconsistencies could only help to deprive the state of its revenue and that it was time this was dealt with.

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