Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), James Klutse Avedzi, has called for the committee to be granted the powers to take some actions against persons cited in the Auditor General’s report for misapplying or misappropriating state funds.
Mr. Avedzi, who is also a Member of Parliament for Ketu North and Deputy Minority Leader, expressed worry about the continued disregard for the public financial management laws. He said this in Tamale during a week-long sitting by PAC to consider the 2017 report of the Auditor General for some public institutions in the Northern, North East, Savannah, Upper East, and Upper West Regions.
Four reports of the Auditor General being considered during the Committee’s regional public hearing include the technical universities and polytechnics reports, pre-tertiary educational institutions report, the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies’ report (management and utilisation of the district assemblies common fund, and the internally generated funds and other accounts).
He spoke about the powers of PAC to fight irregularities contained in the Auditor General’s report, saying: as things stand now, the “PAC can only make recommendations to the House and when the House approves our recommendations, it goes back to the various institutions cited for implementation of the recommendations,” he said.
The Chairman of the committee further intimated that the committee will request Parliament to grant the committee such powers that will enable it to effect punishment on erring agencies. This is expected to be contained in a Private Members Bill.
Kofi Okyere Agyekum, Ranking Member of the PAC also stated that it was necessary to sanction people, who engaged in misappropriation and misapplication of state funds, as well as recover the funds for the state.