Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, James Klutse Avedzi

Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament, Dr James Klutse Avedzi has called on the Ghana Audit Service to apply sanctions on Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) that engage in financial mismanagement, especially in the delivery of projects.

Dr Avedzi, who is also the Member of Parliament for Ketu North Constituency, and Deputy Minority Leader, said the Service had constitutional powers to enforce sanctions on MMDAs who engage in such misappropriation to serve as a deterrent to others.

“I recommend that the Auditor-General who has powers under Article 1877, to disallow certain expenditure and surcharge them. If that happens, and people are made to pay back wrong payments, it will prevent them from happening in the future,” he stated.

The Chairman of PAC said this at a national forum on performance audits in Accra organized by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in partnership with the Government of Ghana through the Ghana Audit Service.

The forum brought together policymakers and civil society organisations to engage Ghana’s oversight bodies on the results of the performance audits of MMDAs towards institutional and policy reforms on quality service delivery.

The forum formed part of USAID-supported Ghana Strengthening Accountability Mechanisms (GSAM) Activity designed to deepen and sustain responsive and accountable governance at the local level.

Dr Avedzi said performance auditing was an independent assessment of entities to ensure they achieved their set goals and targets and charged the Audit Service to apply sanctions and promote good corporate governance.

He said that was necessary in tracking performance to ensure accountability, transparency and productivity of the entities.

Mr Samuel Boateng, Deputy Chief of Party, GSAM Activity project, said the GSAM project was designed to deepen and sustain responsive and accountable governance at the local level.

He said the project supported the Ghana Audit Service to assess 100 selected MMDAs’ efficiency and effectiveness to identify, plan, and supervise the construction of infrastructure projects in accordance with administrative laws and practices.

Mr Boateng said the impact of performance audits in strengthening good governance at the local level had been positive.

“For example, abandoned projects in the targeted districts have reduced from 33 per cent to 8 per cent,” he added and said they also observed improved citizens’ participation in the monitoring of development projects in the GSAM Activity.