The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has cautioned to surcharge public institutions that would fail to produce relevant documents, such as receipts and invoices regarding procurement within 30 days.
According to PAC, the Public Procurement law stipulates a 30-day period of grace for such documents to be provided after auditing, if not provided during auditing, but some state entities are flouting the law because of laxity in its enforcement.
The Chairman of PAC, Dr James Klutse Avedzi, issued the warning during a PAC public hearing, yesterday, in Sunyani, Bono Region.
He said henceforth after the 30-day period of grace, any state entities that would fail to comply with the law, would not be given another opportunity to do so, and the officer(s) in-charge would have to pay for the procurement.
Dr Avedzi said “Parliament has been overlooking the practice in the past”, adding that even if an officer makes purchases in the interest of his or her entity without providing relevant documents within a 30-day period of grace, during auditing, he/ she would be surcharged.
He said some institutions had taken the lack of enforcement of the law for granted because they knew they could get away with the practice.
Dr Avedzi said PAC’s move would help check misappropriation of public funds and corruption in the country.
The 1992 constitution he said mandates the Auditor General to audit public accounts of state institutions of the country.
Concerning procurement breaches by state agencies and departments that have been referred to the Attorney General’s office for prosecution, Dr Avedzi said Parliament had planned to meet the Attorney-General this year to ascertain the number of cases that have so far been dealt with.
The law provides for public procurement, to establish the Public Procurement Authority, make administrative and institutional arrangements for procurement, stipulate tendering procedures and provide for related matters.
FROM DANIEL DZIRASAH, SUNYANI
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