Dr James Klutse Avedzi (3rd from right), Chairman of the committee, addressing the representatives of the Assembly
Dr James Klutse Avedzi (3rd from right), Chairman of the committee, addressing the representatives of the Assembly

PAC indicts STMA over toilet funds

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament has charged the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA) to refund GH¢24,388.00 being the amount toilet attendants failed to account for over a period of time.

That followed the account of the 2020 Auditor-General's Report which indicted the assembly for its failure to retrieve the said amount out of a total of GH¢27,388.00.

Surprisingly, the assembly was able to retrieve only GH¢3,000 from the attendants.

The order was given when the assembly appeared before the committee at the Atlantic Hotel in Takoradi last Monday.  

The Chairman of the committee, Dr James Klutse Avedzi, explained that per the Auditor-General's Report, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) had 30 days to support every infraction with documents within the audit period.

"If you fail to do this within the period, your name will appear in the report to Parliament and we have no choice but to let you refund the amount involved.

“Therefore, the coordinating director, finance office, revenue superintendent and the metropolitan chief executive must collectively refund the money," he insisted.

"It is not our duty to be taking documents at the committee level.

The law is very clear on that, so comply," he added.

Dr Avedzi said it was expected that MMDAs must be serious and conversant with the Public Financial Management Regulations 2019 and guidelines on the DACF.

Dilapidated toilets

The Metropolitan Coordinating Director, John Owoo, however, said most of the toilets were dilapidated so the infraction was not deliberate.

He noted that most of the franchise toilets built in the colonial era, which were scattered all over the metropolis, had outlived their usefulness.

The Members of Parliament for Buem and New Juaben North, Kofi Adams and Nana Adjei Boateng respectively, were of the view that the assembly could have written a report on the state of the toilets to the auditors instead of waiting to narrate it before the committee.

On the Shama District Assembly, the committee ordered a former district chief executive to return a 32-inch television set to the assembly within one month.

That was after the District Chief Executive, Ebenezer Dadzie and his team had explained that after a burglary on his residence, the former DCE replaced all items with the exception of the television set.

The Wassa Amenfi Central Municipal Assembly was also cited for overspending an amount of GH¢ 15,720.00 on the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF).

The committee urged the assembly to improve upon its documentation.

On the Nzema East Municipal Assembly, the report recommended that an amount of GH¢149,682.82, being 10 per cent share of their DACF, should be refunded since only GH¢50,000 had so far been paid by the assembly from its Internally Generated Fund (IGF).

In all, 14 MMDAs appeared before the committee and were cited for over-expenditure, unbudgeted abandoned projects, lack of documentation, payments to contractors with no work done, failure to deduct withholding taxes among others.

Takoradi Technical University

In addition, the Takoradi Technical University (TTU) was also cited for its failure to prepare and submit monthly procurement reports, for approving payments without documents, unbonded staff on study leave with pay, absence of documentation on ownership of Students Records Management System (SRMS) application and unaccounted imprest.

The university, led by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Professor Victor Kweku Micah, said most of the recommendations contained in the Auditor-General's Report had been resolved. 

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