Worried about abuse of procurement laws – Kan-Dapaah

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Albert Kan-Dapaah

Mr Albert Kan -Dapaah, Former Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, has expressed concern about the manner in which procurement rules and procedures as enshrined in the Procurement Act, are being ignored.

He said sole sourcing continued to be the preferred source of procurement, while accounting regulations contained in the Financial Administration Regulations were also been disregarded.

Mr Kan- Dapaah expressed the concern at the Sixth Annual Audit Service Accountability Lectures on the theme: “Management, Protection and Accountability of Public Funds- Who is Responsible?”

He expressed worry about the lack of functional accounting system which would allow MDAs to capture their accounting transactions and also help them prepare financial statements.

‘This therefore means that no financial data is therefore available to guide managers for accurate decision-making during the year, and neither are year-end financial statements prepared as demanded by our Constitution and Financial Administration Act,’ he added.

He noted that although under the laws, any institution which was charged to hold the President and the Government accountable was required to be independent, the Auditor-General who is appointed by the President in consultation with the Council of State (who are also appointed by the President) could in no way be said to be independent.

He said the Auditor-General could not effectively audit the President as it had been held bound, because its activities were funded by the Government.

He noted that Parliament which was also supposed to be independent of the President, was also bound to him as he is the one who selects the Speaker; the Majority Leader, as well as the Chief Whip, who are considered to be the movers and shakers in Parliament.

‘In the Judiciary, the Chief Justice, all Supreme and Appeal Court Judges are appointed by the President,’ he added.

Mr Kan- Dapaah said since 1993, the MDAs had not been able to submit to the Auditor-General prepared accounts of their financial transactions and economic events, which to him, was unfortunate.

He cited lack of funding to implement the activities of the Auditor-General, as well as its inability to sanction officials cited for wrong doing as some of the major challenges facing the A-G.

Mr Richard Quartey, the Auditor-General, urged the Media and Civil Society Organizations to endeavour to play a watchdog role by exposing acts of corruption perpetuated in the public sector.

He noted that audited funds belonged to all Ghanaians, and therefore no individual person or persons had the right to misuse or mismanage it.

He urged the media to educate the public on public accounts to enable them be able to demand accountability from people who would be found to have misused public funds.

In a message read on his behalf, Mr Seth Terpker, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, called for an efficient and transparent public sector to avoid corruption which was gradually characterizing the sector.

He cited Parliament and the Auditor-General as the two key institutions which could help check corruption in the system.

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