Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee(PAC) of parliament, Hon James Klutse AVEDZI has called on government to considered resourcing the Auditor General office to enable it to function effectively and efficiently to protect the public purse.
According to him, constitutional mandated bodies including the Auditor General charged with the responsibility to protect the resources of the nation lacks the needed and the necessary resources to perform their duties creditably.
Mr Avedzi made the called when he delivered a lecture at the 8th Annual Accountability Lectures of the Audit Services for 2018, last week in Accra.
The Lecture was on the theme, “Protecting the Public Purse-Our Commitment towards Ghana’s Development Agenda.”
Waking into the debate recently on whether the Auditor General should be given power to prosecute people sighted in its report as having committed offences against the law, Mr AVEDZI who is Member of parliament for Ketu North, disagreed the idea that the Auditor General should be given prosecution powers.
He argued that, the AG is the only public institution mandated to control the expenditure of most public institution and that such powers should rather be properly enforced to curb any financial infractions.
The Deputy Minority Leader said, instead of giving it prosecution powers, the AG should rather be resourced to enable it to function properly, stating that, “the Auditor General must be given the needed funding as provided for in Article 187(14) of the constitution.”
In his view, “Officers of the Auditor General must be well remunerated so as to over come any attempt by people they audit to bribe them.”
Mr AVEDZI also called on government through the Ministry of Finance to ensure that parliamentary recommendation on audit reports are implemented.
“The audit Committee established under the Public Financial Management Act (PFMA) Act 921 of 2016 are implemented fully,” he added.
The Ketu North MP said, the public purse could be protected if the Minister for Finance should ensure that the new Regulation is passed by parliament as soon as possible to give effect to full implementation of the PFM Act921,2016).
The Auditor General is mandated under Article 187(5) of the constitution to submit his/her report to parliament within six months after the end of the immediately preceding financial year to which each of the accounts on institution audited and submit report to parliament.
The law further mandated the Auditor General to draw parliament attention to any irregularities in the accounts audited and to any other matter which in the opinion of Hon Avedzi, ought to be brought to the notices of parliament.
The AG reports, the Deputy Minority Leader said, are reviewed by the Public Accounts Committee through public hearing and after which recommendations for the approval of the entire House of parliament have to be implemented by the Executive.
He added that, the Public Accounts Committee hearing which are mostly carried live by the media in the country had made impact in the recovery of public funds that are wrongfully acquired by private people.
This, he noted was enough grounds for resourcing the AG to motivate its staff rather than giving it the prosecution powers which would not bring anything different from recovery money wrongfully went to private hands.
Sources:www.therepublicnewsonline.com/Felix Engsalige Nyaaba