‘PAC needs additional powers for efficient prosecution of nat’l purse’

Dr Clement Apaak, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Builsa South and a Member of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament, has advocated for the committee to be given powers to cause the direct arrest and prosecution of defaulting state officials who appear before them over the Auditor General’s report.

According to him, country’s like Kenya have put in place such laws to help their fight against state looters and insisted that the committee needed additional powers to be efficient and effective in protecting the national purse.

“It is important to add that the PAC does not have the mandate or the power to arrest and prosecute those who are indicted in the Auditor General’s report; that is the prerogative of the speaker of parliament after we present our report to the plenary.

“I have advocated that we perhaps need to look at other parts of the continent for best practices, such as in Kenya and Rwanda where the PAC is mandated and empowered by law to arrest even at the sitting when an auditee appears and is not able to justify or challenge any infraction noted against him or her by the Auditor General which has also appealed for the laws to be reviewed to enable it to have prosecutorial powers,” Dr Apaak stressed.

The 2016 Auditor General’s report, which revealed that some state agencies engaged in unlawful monetary practices, noted that it was not going to complete audit and wait for the TV show at Public Accounts Committee anymore.

It warned that when it completed audit, it would raise observations against culprits and if they decided to ignore it, will disallow the expenditure and surcharge culprits and beginning this year it must have to apply the law since the citizenry have expressed concerns over the failure or reluctance by the state to arrest and prosecute offenders who are caught in the annual report of the Auditor General.

For instance, among many other infractions, the 2018 report indicated that GH₵25.5m realised from 1,719 auctioned cars was missing. -starrfmonline.com

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