?PAC Chairman urges state entities to comply with financial laws

Mr James Klutse Avedzi, Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), has emphasised the importance of statutory bodies’ adherence to the financial laws of the state to avoid being cited for infractions in the Auditor-General’s report.

Mr Avedzi emphasised those institutions, agencies and organisations that complied with the laws either had fewer infractions or were not mentioned in the Auditor-General’s report.

He further explained the financial laws encompassed many aspects such as procurement laws, the Public Financial Management Act, regulations, tax laws, income tax laws, Value Added Tax and other related components.

Mr Avedzi was speaking in an interview with the media after the PAC’s first zonal sitting in Sunyani, which was to assess the response of audited entities to the 2021 Auditor-General’s report.

Earlier during the session, the Committee addressed several infractions committed by the institutions that appeared before it.

The infractions included the acquisition and usage of an educational portal system without the Auditor-General’s approval, outstanding hostel fees loss of rental revenue, failure to renew accreditation of programmes and failure to fulfill mandatory bond periods after course completion.

Other infractions were unretired imprest, termination of appointments, non-maintenance of university hostel and clinic, payments of unearned salaries and allowances, overdue staff advances and unsubstantiated payments.

Mr Avedzi said if agencies consistently complied with the laws, there would be no need for the committee to conduct nationwide visits to ensure their compliance.

He noted, however, that those agencies had already been mentioned in the 2021 report, consequently, the Committee anticipated their compliance with the recommendations of the Auditor-General to absolve themselves of any wrongdoing.

Regarding the accreditation of tertiary institution programmes and courses, Mr Avedzi stated that the issue affected all universities, including the traditional ones.

He, nonetheless, attributed the problem partly to the universities, Ghana Tertiary Education Commission and the National Accreditation Board, pointing out that the universities sometimes allowed their accreditation to expire before initiating the renewal process.

Mr. Avedzi observed there were delays too sometimes on the part of the institutions responsible for granting the accreditations.

He, therefore, called for a meeting of three bodies together to identify the persistent problem to explore potential solutions, saying that would prevent the examination of students in programmes and courses that lacked proper accreditation.

Source: Ghana News Agency