Give us power to take action against persons indicted in audit reports – PAC

Members of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament have expressed concern about the year-on-year infractions and irregularities committed by public institutions recorded in the annual Auditor-General’s report.

The Chairman of the committee, James Klutse Avedzi expressed regret about the situation and attributed it to the lack of stiffer punishment for persons who commit these irregularities.

Several public institutions in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions were cited for committing infractions and misapplying public funds in the Auditor-General’s 2017 report.

Addressing the media on the sidelines of the committee’s sitting in Tamale, on the first day of its week-long hearing, the Chairman of the committee called for more powers to be given to the Public Accounts Committee to allow them to take action against culprits.

“It is becoming worrying that issues that are reported over and over and recommendations that are made by the Auditor-General keep coming up. You can see clearly that most of them come to the committee to lie because their representations are not exactly what happens on the ground,” he said.

“These are the problems that we have. That is why we have been saying that the Public Accounts Committee should be given some more powers so that we will be able to take action against some of these people to serve as a deterrent to others,” he added.

The first day of the hearing saw St. Charles Minor Seminary, Business Senior High School, Bole Senior High School, EP college of Education, Bagabaga College of Education among others appearing before the committee.

Financial irregularities committed by various statutory institutions in the year 2020 stood at GHS 12.8 billion, up from GHS3 billion and GHS5.5 billion in 2018 and 2019 respectively.