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We credit good performance and criticise non-performance — PAC

Mr James Avedzi, Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament yesterday reiterated that the committee does not sit to only find faults with those who appear before it, but it also gives credit when it was due.

He said giving credit was necessary, so that government agencies could emulate good performance of their counterparts across the country.

The chairman made these remarks at yesterday’s sitting when most of the government institutions which appeared before them to answer queries to the 2016 Auditor-General’s report were found with little or no infractions.

Some of the public agencies and organisations which appeared were the National Insurance Commission, Security and Exchange Commission, Public Procurement Authority, Ghana Investment Promotion Council, Student Loans Trust Fund, Ghana Educational Trust Fund (GET FUND) and University of Energy and Natural Resources.

When the Natural Insurance Commission (NIC) took their turn and the committee wanted to know the sudden jump in their assets declaration, it was revealed that the rebasing of their assets was the factor that led to the impressive performance.

They were then advised to keep their track record intact and aspire to achieve more success in the coming years.

The story was no different from what the Security and Exchange Commission delegation said, when they told the committee that they had put in measures to wean themselves off government subvention.

Though there were no infractions against the Student Loans Trust Fund management, the low recovery of loans from students was one area the chairman of the committee found fault with them.

Mr Avedzi advised them to put enough measures in place to ensure speedy recovery of the loans disbursed, since the non-payment of the loans could affect the ultimate performance of the fund.

Though the GETFund representatives were quizzed for non-payment of withholding tax from contractors, they explained that the anomaly in that infraction were wrongly based, since the contractors from whom the withholding taxes were deducted, have not been paid their contract sum.

The administrator of the fund explained that until payments were effected to the contractors before the withholding tax in a special account would be paid to the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).

He said since then, the withholding taxes have been paid to the GRA to set the records straight in adherence to the recommendation of the Auditor-General.

BY LAWRENCE MARKWEI

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