Procurement breaches: PAC refers 150 offenders to AG’s Dept …for prosecution

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) says it has so far transferred 150 cases from its work in Tamale, Sunyani and Takoradi to the Attorney General’s Office for prosecution, as part of their prosecutorial recommendation for various procurement breaches.

The Member of Parliament for South Dayi and member of PAC, Mr Rockson Dafeamekpo, who disclosed this at Ho in the Volta Region at the opening of the Committee’s next sitting on Monday, said the committee is determined to have their prosecutorial recommendations enforced by the Attorney General’s Office.

 He said in 2017, the Auditor General’s report cited a lot of institutions for procurement breaches.

“We gave caution that going forward we were not going to take some of these matters kindly.

Now in the 2018 report we are seeing a lot of repetition of such practices that had already been flagged.

The decision of the committee is to start with procurement breaches,” he said.

In Ho just one sitting had a number of institutions cited for prosecution.

Mr Dafeamekpo said “all of us must apply ourselves to performing our public duties and functions within the remit of the law and these leakages can stop,” he added.

“We need to appreciate the fact that because the referrals cut across the regions the Attorney General’s office will make such referrals to the various AG’s office in the various regions and copy to the Judicial Office to look into the matters and do the arrangements for prosecution,” he disclosed.

He stated further that PAC had always been “biting” but one should know the “lacuna in the law.”

“If you read the law carefully the committee’s work is to interrogate but after this arrangement the report is sent to the floor of the House and debated and nothing happens,” he lamented.

Mr lbrahim Murtala Muhammed, MP Tamale Central and member of the committee, noted that the perception that “our work is not yielding any result is not true,” adding that “our work is to recommend and government must prosecute.”

“We also need to quantify the money that the state will have lost from the procurement breaches alone, if we downplay the work of the committee,” he added.

According to him, the committee must now apply itself to the law since it had inherent powers to make prosecutorial referrals which “we are determined to enforce now.”

His comments followed a public hearing on report of the Auditor-General of some Senior High Schools, Technical Universities and District Assemblies for procurement and irregularities involving uncompetitive procurement for the financial year ending December 2018.

The committee is in Ho, for six days to examine Volta, Oti, Greater Accra and Eastern regions.

FROM KAFUI GATI, HO

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