Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), James Klutse Avedzi, has lamented among other things, the backdating of receipts by state institutions.
According to him, there’s a deliberate practice by some state institutions to falsify and backdate receipts when they are invited to the Committee. Owing to this, he has therefore advised them to desist from the practice or face the consequences.
Mr Avedzi made this comment when he reviewed documents presented to the Committee by the Water and Sanitation Board in the Ahafo Region on Thursday, February 2, 2023, when officials of the Water Resources Commission appeared before the Public Accounts Committee to answer questions with regard to some audit infractions captured in the 2020 Auditor-General’s report.
For the past two to three years, the Commission has not been able to provide satisfactory documents to the Auditor- General. However, when they appeared before the Committee, they came up with a receipt to cover the payments that were made.
To this, the Chairman of the Committee expressed that the receipts have been backdated, to which the officials of the Commission who appeared before the Committee admitted to.
“That tells you how the system works. Something that happened in 2019 of which the audit was done in 2020, now the receipt was written on 1st February 2023, but backdated… That receipt, when you trace it to the records of that company or enterprise, you won’t get it anywhere recorded in any of their books so the whole system is some way.”James Klutse Avedzi
Although the PAC chairman did not apply any sanction for the falsification of receipts, he cautioned state institutions to desist from such acts as they will be made to face the law.
PAC refers two regulators for prosecution
Meanwhile, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament has referred the managements of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) and the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA) to the Office of the Attorney-General for prosecution.
They duo are to be arraigned for engaging in procurement breaches. While the Auditor-General’s Report found the GPHA culpable for engaging in procurement without the approval of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) to the tune of GHC6.3 million when it purchased vehicles that included a Toyota Land Cruiser and a Toyota Camry, the GMA allegedly used the price quotation method for procuring goods, with contract values that exceeded the threshold for price quotation.
Mr Avedzi, gave the directive when the two organizations appeared before the committee The directive followed submissions by the Vice-Chairman of the PAC, Dr Samuel Atta Mills, that the GPHA had engaged in procurement, without the approval of the PPA, to the tune of GH¢6.3 million when it purchased vehicles.
He stated that the GPHA management’s response for not going through approval was that the authority had standardized Toyota and Audi vehicles for three directors and Toyota saloon cars for heads of departments because of their robustness.
That, Dr Atta Mills submitted, meant they had to deal with Stelin Motors Ghana Limited and Toyota Ghana Limited, since they were reputed firms for the sale, maintenance and after-sale services of Toyota vehicles.
Reacting to this, Mr Avedzi stated that the matter was a straightforward one that did not require any argument.
The Auditor-General’s Report indicated that the management of the GPHA, through the Evaluation Committee, recommended PKF Scientific Limited to supply a chemistry analyser at a contract sum of GHC248,246.87.
The report recommended that the Director-General and the Director of Finance and acting Director of Procurement of the GPHA should refund GH¢23,427.40 in connection with the award of the contract to a non-tenderer.
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