12 October 2013, Accra – Officials of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) got their baptism of fire from members of the Public Accounts Committee yesterday, when they were told bluntly that the committee would ensure they do not get any allocation in the 2014 Budget.
The members of the PAC were shocked, per the 2011 Auditor General’s report on GAEC before them, that the company had no accounts for the subvention it got from the government, since 2010 to date.
The GAEC had appeared before the committee to answer a question raised in the 2010 and 2011 financial year of the Auditor General’s report. But the Deputy Chairman of the committee, Samuel Atta Akyea, inquired as to why the institution was far behind in submitting its financial statement to the Auditor General for auditing, as required by law.
In response, the Financial Director, Mr. Cyprian Bassing, explained that the delay was due to the fact that the institution was not practicing a computerised accounting system. On his part, the Chairman of the committee, Kwaku Agyeman Manu, could not fathom the reason why an institution such as the GAEC was not operating a computerised accounting system.
To him, the case of the institution was a clear indication that there was an illegal practice on the part of the accountant, stressing that the Finance Director should know it was against the Financial Act of the land.
“We must ensure you don’t get any budget until you start preparing your accounts, if you don’t work, you don’t deserve money. Your account statement will tell us what you have done, but we don’t have it,” he noted.
To that end, Mr. Agyeman Manu directed the Managing Director of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC), Prof. Benjamin Nyarko, to sanction the accountant and write the same to the committee. Another issue the GAEC was found wanting in, was their refusal to place their surplus into the Consolidated Fund as required by law.
Meanwhile, the Bank of Ghana (BOG) will, in a few days’ time, face the PAC over their alleged delay in responding to audit circulation. The rest of the banks to be brought before the committee are the Ghana Commercial Bank and the Trust Bank, which are all guilty of the same practice.
– The Chronicle