The chairman of the public accounts committee (PAC) of Parliament, James Klutse Avedzi, has cautioned the heads of various government institutions to provide supporting documents for claims within 30 days.
He said those who fail to do so will be surcharged.
Speaking to the media after the first day of the public hearings of the PAC in Sunyani in the Bono Region, Avedzi stated that the 30-day grace period is being abused, hence, the need to implement the audit laws and regulations.
He said, “We usually give them the opportunity to provide the documents after the 30-day period, but we think that it is not going well. They have taken it for granted.”
“So, I’m sending a caution to them that we will surprise them… If you have made payments without the supporting documents and you do not provide the document within the 30-day period, we will not take any document again after the 30-day period,” the chairman of PAC said.
Avedzi added, “We will go strictly by what the law says. You [the officer in charge] should look for money and pay for that expenditure.”
He said several procurement breaches from previous hearings have been referred to the attorney-general.
Avedzi said the committee will meet with the attorney-general by the close of this year to ascertain the progress made.
Earlier, when officials of the Sefwi-Wiawso College of Education took their turn in the hearing, it came to light that the college had used GHC1.2 million of their internally generated funds to complete the first and second floors of a three-story building that had been left unattended for 17 years in the school.
Avedzi commended the school for its initiative. He wondered why the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) projects in the country are not being attended to.
The deputy minister of education-TVET, Gifty Twum-Ampofo, who accompanied all the education officials to the hearing assured the committee that the GETFund has secured finance to complete some projects.
This round of public hearings is a platform for officials of selected public educational institutions and municipal and district assemblies in the Bono, Ahafo, Bono East, Ashanti and Western North Regions to answer queries raised in the auditor-general’s report for 2020.
Eight educational institutions (Kumasi and Sunyani Technical Universities, Berekum, St Ambrose, St Louis, St Joseph, Sefwi-Wiawso and Bia Limelight Colleges of Education) faced the committee on the first day of the hearing.
There were queries about unaccounted imprests, unearned salaries, outstanding rent, unsupported payments, payments without works order, unexplained expenses and receipt of invalid VAT invoices from suppliers.