A member of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Dr Clement Apaak, has indicated that the work of the Committee in a modest way is yielding dividends for the country.
He explained that before the various heads of public institutions appear upon the invitation by the Clerk of the Public Account Committee (PAC) to answer to queries that have been captured in the Auditor-General’s report, most of the monies that were not accounted for in the report are paid to the government chest, they appear before the Committee with receipts of payment.
Speaking on Okay FM’s 'Ade Akye Abia' Morning Show, Dr Clement Apaak posited that the Public Account Committee is going to start compiling monies that have been paid back to the government chest as a result of the letters and the sittings of the Committee as these monies would not have been paid if the public institutions had not been called to appear before the Committee.
He, however, supported the call that Ghanaians deserve the right to know what happens to the people who commit a crime in the public sector as per the various sittings of the Public Account Committee, it has been reported that some individuals pocket some of the monies that should have been used for developmental projects.
He noted that the Auditor-General’s report for 2020 indicates that 12 billion Cedis have been diverted to somewhere the Public Account Committee (PAC) does not understand; thus, the said amount could have solved most of the pressing needs of the country.
He reiterated that the work of the Public Account Committee is not being effective due to the structures of the constitution, constraining the ability of the Committee to initiate instant action to hold those who have misused, misapplied and misappropriated or even embezzled public resources accountable.
“In a modest way, the work of the public account committee is yielding dividends, but we need to make sure that we can exert the maximum punishment to bring to account those who have the tendency to misuse and misappropriate and embezzle public resources,” he suggested.
Citing the common practice in other parts of Africa like Uganda and Rwanda, Dr Clement Apaak suggested that there should be a police unit just as the constitutions of these African countries have provided for their Public Account Committees to arrest public officials who will be found guilty before the Committee.
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