Tamale, April 23, GNA – Alhaji Mohammed Limuna Muniri, Northern Regional Minister has asked public institutions invited by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) for financial irregularities to desist from describing such invitations as witch-hunting.
He said the work of the committee was to ensure financial compliance, transparency and accountability but that many institutions rather see the work of the committee as witch-hunting.
Alhaji Muniru stated this in Tamale on Wednesday during the Public Accounts Committee sitting, which was to examine some pre-tertiary institutions in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions for non-compliance to lay down financial procedures.
The PAC would be examining Auditor Generals financial report of 2010 and 2011. Among some of the schools that appeared before the committee were; Tumu SHS, Tumu College of Education, Nandom SHS, Piina SHS, Daffiama SHS, Queen of Peace SHS and Lissla Tuolo SHS.
Alhaji Muniru observed that there was the need for Parliament to reform the Committee by strengthening it to reduce corruption in public institutions and noted that public funds released must be accounted for.
Mr Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, Minority Leader in Parliament said apart from law making, Parliament had the power to examine the expenditure on the public purse and execute other oversight responsibilities, stressing that, accountability to public purse must be safeguarded.
He said the PAC was to ensure compliance of the Auditor Generals report on financial irregularities and suggested that institutions that do not conform to recommendations should be sanctioned to serve as deterrent.
Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, Chairman of the Committee said this was the first time the committee was sitting in the Northern Region and indicated that it intends doing periodic sittings at various regions to bring Parliament to the door steps of the people.
He described the financial activities of the pre-tertiary schools in the three northern regions as not of the best, noting that, almost all the schools had breached one financial regulation or the other.
Mr Alex Kyeremeh, Deputy Minister of Education said the Ministry has been assisting the committee in its activities in diverse ways and urged heads of various institutions to avoid charging unapproved fees since it was criminal.
He said through the assistance of the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO), some monies were being retrieved from some public institutions that misappropriated public funds.
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