NEWS

PAC Wants Answers From Senior Civil Servants

Senior civil servants will need to provide an update this Thursday on recommendations from the previous Public Accounts Committee. Current chairperson Biman Prasad yesterday questioned why certain issues were not
27 Jan 2015 11:01
PAC Wants Answers From Senior Civil Servants
Public Accounts Committee members, Aseri Radrodro and Sanjit Patel at the parliamentary committee room yesterday. Photo: RAMA

Senior civil servants will need to provide an update this Thursday on recommendations from the previous Public Accounts Committee.

Current chairperson Biman Prasad yesterday questioned why certain issues were not addressed and were repeated in several volumes of the PAC reports. The committee met yesterday at the parliamentary committee room. Also present were representatives from the Auditor-General’s Office and the Ministry of Finance.

 

Some of the issues discussed yesterday were related to:

– Over-expenditure

– Overseas bank accounts

– Overdrawn trust funds

– Contingent liabilities

– Missing payment vouchers

– Revolving Fund Account

– capacity by the various ministries in implementing PAC recommendations.

 

Committee member Sanjit Patel recommended calling in permanent secretaries of the relevant ministries to clarify the issues for them.

The Committee decided to instruct senior representatives of several ministries and statutory organisation to appear for questioning on Thursday.

About ten senior civil servants are expected to be present on Thursday to clarify the committee’s concerns.

Most of the concerns yesterday came from the committee’s review of Volumes One and Two of the 2007 Public Accounts Committee report on the Auditor-General’s Report.

Acting Auditor-General Atunaisa Nadakuitavuki said some of the issues, particularly with the Ministry of Finance, were related to the lack of upgrades to the Financial Management Information Systems (FMIS). At the moment, the PAC has found out there is no centralised Chief Accountant, who can answer their questions.

Ministry of Finance representative Emosi Dovibua said under the current Permanent Secretary for Finance, they were looking at streamlining their processes. He said the Deputy Permanent Secretary for Finance was leading the ministerial subcommittee looking at reforming the process at the ministry.

Mr Prasad said it was important the ministry informed the PAC if they needed help.

“Civil servants must be allowed to complete their jobs. Let us know if you have any difficulties in implementing these recommendations,” he told the four representatives from the Ministry of Finance at the Public Accounts Committee meeting yesterday

Ministries, Departments to be called to task this Thursday:

-Ministry of Finance
– Ministry of Public Enterprises
– Ministry of Foreign Affairs
– Ministry of iTaukei Affairs
– Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority
– Department of Environment

Issues in detail

– The Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) will be asked by PAC to provide an update on recommendations for prosecution from the previous Public Accounts Committee

– The ITaukei Affairs Board will be called in to explain why it overturned a decision by the previous Parliament to write off a $20 million loan

– Over-expenditure by $45 million by the Republic of Fiji Military Forces in 2007

– The preparation of a consolidated report detailing a review of the 2007-2009 Public Accounts Committee Reports on the Auditor-General’s Reports. This will be tabled by the Public Accounts Committee at the May sitting of Parliament.

The PAC meets again at 9 this morning.

Feedback: josuat@fijisun.com.fj

 

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