Don’t move project funding to MPs’ personal accounts.

Dr James Klutse Avedzi, Chairman of PAC, stated that it was unlawful for the Directorate of Public Institutions to move project monies into MPs’ personal accounts.

He noted that, while MPs were legally entitled to pick the sort of project for the funding, they were prohibited from serving as spending officers.

Speaking at yesterday’s PAC hearings in Accra, he advised public officials to focus on their job of carrying out the necessary administrative steps to accomplish payment when an MP picks a project to pursue.

“Let me caution you that, do not pay any money into the personal account of any MP. Expenditure for project must be made directly from the directorate account. Your job is to go through the admin­istrative processes to effect payment and ensure the project for which the funds was expensed is carried out. Never again should your outfit or any public office transfer money to an MP,” Dr Avedzi stated.

Augustina Attakora, the head of Twifo Atti-Morkwa District Education Office in the Central Region, appeared before PAC yesterday, prompting the caution.

The 2022 Auditor-General’s Report found that, in contravention of Section 7 of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921), an amount of GH¢195,000 paid into the District Education Directorate’s account from the Special Initiative Fund for renovation of selected Basic Schools and support for some Senior High Schools (SHS) in the constituency was repaid into the MP’s personal bank account.

The report suggested that the District Director of Education collect the money from the MP with interest at the prevailing Bank of Ghana rate and deposit them in the Auditor-General’s Recoveries account at the Bank of Ghana.

“It is not allowed for office to pay monies for project into the personal bank account of the MP. If any MP ask you, a public officer, to transfer money for a project into his account, contact me and I will speak to the MP about it. Just don’t do it,” Dr Avedzi reiterated.

He said such illegal actions was the reason for uncompetitive procurement, and in some cases, delays in the implementation of projects.

“Allowing your MP to dictate some things such as these is the reason why several offices have audit infractions. The commit­tee is once again reminding all covered entities to comply strictly with the procurement laws. Don’t allow an MP to become an officer of purchases,” he added.

Mrs. Attakota stated that the office submitted the names of beneficiaries of GH¢80,000.00 purchased by the MP for distribution in the constituency for verification.

Previously, the report indicated that in the lack of adequate papers to substantiate the distribution, the MP was compelled to deposit the GH¢80,000 into the Auditor-General’s Recoveries Account at Bank of Ghana.

 

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