Regional News of Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Source: GNA

Streamline financial operation to avoid prosecution

Accra, Oct. 30, GNA- Mr. Dominic Azumah, Member of Parliament for Garu-Tempane has advised management of state organizations to streamline their financial operations to avoid possible prosecution.

He stressed transparency and proper handling of state funds to avoid being hauled to the financial administration tribunals, following the successful completion of the first public hearing of the first Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Accra, after the Committee had completed its hearing, Mr. Azumah expressed hope that managers of state organizations would take appropriate measures to correct any malfeasance that were found in the Report of the Auditor General.

Mr. Azumah, who is also a Member of the PAC, said public hearings, unlike those heard in camera, was compelling enough to make the Judiciary institute measures to set up the financial administration tribunals to deal with any cases of impropriety found in the annual Auditor General Report.

He said some of the immediate achievements of the hearings were the prompt responses by way of refund, and the beginning of processes to bring culprits to book, citing the case of an official of the Department of Urban Roads who embezzled state funds of 4.3 billion cedis in 2004. Mr. Azumah noted that there were some grey areas in the responses offered by some Minister on the queries, which rather showed their lack of serious concern about the issues raised in the queries. He said some of the responses also showed some of the Minister and the Management of the state organization showed that they came to the hearing unprepared.

He lauded the non-partisan manner in which the hearings were conducted, which, he said was an indication of independence of the Committee. On the performance of the Parliamentary Service, Mr Azumah said Parliament as an institution was independent of the Service, but added however that the Service sees to the day-to-day running of Parliament. Mr Azumah urged the Government Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) to act with dispatch to establish their Audit Report Implementation Committees, to address the issues raised in the Audit General's Report.