August 20, 2013

The Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joe Ghartey, has remarked that the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is not a witch- hunting committee but rather a state institution responsible to protect the national coffers.

According to him the committee is a fact -finding committee which would not prosecute or fine anyone who appeared before it guilty.

Mr Ghartey said this yesterday in his opening remarks at the committee’s maiden public hearings since the inception of the sixth Parliament in Accra.

Joe Ghartey who is also the MP for Esikado noted that the committee exist to ensure that proper due diligence and right financial practices are adhered to in the administration of government funds.

He urged officials who would appear before the committee to relax and provide the necessary information that the members would require from them.

Chairman of committee and MP for Dormaa Central, Kwaku Agyeman Maanu, on his part stressed the need for a sub -committee who will be solely responsible for the implementation of the committee’s report.

The committee during its hearing considered the Auditor General’s report on the Statement of Foreign Exchange Receipts and Payments of the Bank of Ghana for the half-year ended June 30, 2012 which was laid before the House last month.

Before the committee to respond to the report were the Minister for Finance, Seth Terkper, and officials of the Bank of Ghana, Controller and Accountant General’s Department, Ministry of lands and Natural Resources, Minerals Commission, and the Ghana Cocoa Board.

The officials were quizzed on receipts to the Bank of Ghana on revenues from cocoa, gold, manganese, capital receipts and invisible receipts, payments in foreign currency by the Bank of Ghana on oil and non-oil imports, payments by order of the Controller and Accountant General and International Monetary Fund (IMF) payments.

The payments included forex sales from oil and non-oil imports, capital payments and invisible

Sitting is expected to continue today with the consideration of the Auditor General’s Performance Audit Report on the Management and Distribution of Anti-Retroviral Drugs.