Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has said that the Committees of Parliament are sometimes ineffective in the discharge of their oversight responsibilities.

According to him, the committees often fail to track the expenditures of the various ministries and other state institutions for which Parliament budgetary allocations were made.

The Suame MP told Host of The Probe, Emefa Apawu, Sunday that despite making resources available to the committees of Parliament, they abdicate their watchdog role, especially over the Executive. This according to him has in certain instances resulted in either mismanagement or misappropriation of funds as captured in the Auditor-General’s annual reports.

“Sometimes I will say our Committees do a great disservice to us because immediately a budget is approved and it starts rolling out, the Committees of Parliament are supposed to trace and track the expenditures related to the subject matter with respect to each of the sectors. But usually, they wait and don’t do anything until as we witnessed the other time and that was not good enough.” he bemoaned.

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu’s comments come at the back of threats from the Minority not to support the imposition of new taxes in the 2021 budget.

According to the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, the inability of the Health Ministry to justify how Covid-19 funds were expended at the height of the pandemic makes it difficult to appreciate how judicious the new levy will be used.

But the one-time interim Finance Minister believes Parliament through its Committee on Finance could lead the charge in investigating how resources were utilised.

“Sometimes they also want to sit down and wait for the Auditor-General’s report. The Auditor-General’s work is a posthumous exercise; after the event exercised. It can only complement the work that the Committees do. If the Committees renege, they abdicate responsibility then, the oversight responsibility of Parliament becomes difficult to discharge. The Committees are not doing well I must confess.”

He further lamented the failure of the Committees to provide a work programme to influence the amount of funds to be allocated to it for the year in view.

The Majority Leader said that due to these lapses, Parliament and the Ghanaian populace are shortchanged.

Notwithstanding these challenges, the veteran lawmaker indicated that the Committees are gradually becoming better, but not at the level they are expected to be.