Public Accounts Committee begins to sit in Ho

The Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee has started a week-long session with public institutions in the regions of Greater Accra, Volta, East and Oti.

The five-day session at the Volta Serene Hotel will run until the public holiday of September 21 and will review the audit reports on higher and pre-higher education institutions in the four regions for the period ending 31 December 2017.

The commission, chaired by Mr. James Klutse Avedzi, MP for Ketu North constituency, will also dissect reports on teacher training colleges in the regions for the same period.

District assembly leaders should meet with the committee on the management and use of the district assembly’s common fund and internally generated funds.

Mr. Avedzi observed the prevalence of abandoned projects in the education sector, and asked internal auditors to take note and help ensure that they were awarded.

Senior high schools opened the meeting and CEOs responded to inquiries about financial activities as described in the Auditor General’s report.

Schools including Anlo High School, Nkonya High School, Keta Business College, Anfoega High School, Ola Girls and Keta High School were called to the session, which was broadcast live across the country.

The Technical Universities of Accra, Ho and Koforidua also appeared before the Committee for the Conformity Assessment of Financial and Accreditation Recommendations.

The committee also examined infrastructure projects and related financial irregularities.

Mr. Samuel Attah Mills, MP for Komenda Edina Eguafo Abrem constituency and Commission Vice-President, said institutions are seeing the same breaches in financial management year after year and punitive measures should be stepped up to help enforce the law.

He called for considering the introduction of “audit permissions” in the management of institutions to help ensure that individuals or entities do not shy away from their acts and responsibilities, adding that a recommendation would be made at the legislative level.

“The education ministry holds the biggest share of the government’s budget and we should expect it to account for every penny we give it,” he said.

Mr. Rockson Dafeamekpor, MP for South Day, also a member of the Committee, said financial leakages from public institutions remained “so high” that the slightest effort to seal them would save the nation a significant number of resources.

He also called for the Committee to be “reformed and empowered” to support efforts to ensure sound financial practices for national development.

The committee ends its work on Saturday, September 25.

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