The Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, virtually rapped members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament yesterday and pleaded with them to impress on the government to release funds for the operation of the Commission in good time so that election time-table is strictly adhered to.
The Chairman made the appeal when he and his deputies, Georgina Opoku-Amankwaah in charge of Finance and Administration, and Amadu Sulley in charge of operations as well as the EC’s Director of Finance, Samuel Yorke Aidoo, appeared before the Committee to answer some queries raised in their 2010 audited accounts.
Dr Afari-Gyan said the government had just released some funds to the Commission for the conduct of the district level elections which should have been done a month or two ago and, therefore, that would affect the timeline of the elections.
“Mr Chairman, we planned to do the district level elections in October this year, but the late release of funds by the government means that the elections would have to be pushed forward to maybe November,” he explained.
When the Chairman of the Committee, Kwaku Agyeman Manu asked the EC Chairman what steps the commission was taking to ensure that the ‘tot’, ‘tot’ district level election that was done in 2010 would not occur again, he replied that “so far as funds are released timely to the commission, that will not occur again.”
“Mr Chairman, the conduct of elections is based on timeline and therefore if funds are delayed, it disrupts the whole process,” he said.
On their audited accounts for 2010, there was a problem with finances of the Brong Ahafo Regional Directorate of the Commission.
The auditors found out that an amount of GH¢22,512 in respect of fuel did not have receipts covering them but the Chairman of the Commission explained that at the time of the auditing, five districts in the region in question had not returned their receipts on fuel consumption and so that did not reflect in their account books.
He assured the Committee that the returns have now been filed and that the auditors could come and verify and authenticate them.