Education

PAC expresses concern over misappropriation of sports, culture funds

The Public Account Committee (PAC) of Parliament has noted with concern the rampant misapplication of sports and culture funds for activities not related to the fund against the Financial Administration Regulation.

Regulation 39(1) of the Financial Administration Regulation 2004 (L.I.1802) stipulates that, “A head of department shall ensure that moneys are unutilised in a manner that secures both optimum values for money and intention of Parliament.”

The PAC acting on the regulation was of the opinion that using that fund for activities not related to sports and culture in the regions was mitigating against the development of sports and promotion of culture in the country.

The misapplication of the funds became a major issue at yesterday’s proceedings during PAC sitting to deliberate on the Auditor-General’s report for 2016 on district education offices.

According to the report, six district education offices disbursed a total amount of GH¢64,459 from the culture and sports accounts as staff advances, payment of conference fees, buying of electricity credit and repair of vehicles all of which were not related to sports and culture activities.

The district offices found culpable were Obuasi and Bolgatanga offices, which used GH¢13,900.00 and GH¢1,020.00 respectively for general administration expenses. Koforidua (GH¢ 28,320) and Paga (GH¢8,341) offices for vehicle repairs, Navrongo (GH¢5,579) for payment of conference fees, and Sandema office (7,299) for staff advances.

When queried, the officials representing the various district education offices said they were compelled to use the sports and culture funds due to the lack of funds in the administrative accounts to support the management of the district offices.

The officers said they had since rectified the situation by reimbursing the monies into the accounts of the sports and culture accounts as directed by the Attorney-General in its recommendation, adding that they would ensure strict compliance of the Financial Administration Regulation.

The PAC accepted their compliance of the recommendations since the practice they said, could undermine the purpose of the Sports Fund which was to promote both cultural and sporting activities in education institutions in the district.

BY LAWRENCE MARKWEI

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