NEWS

Boost Monitoring: PAC

There was consensus yesterday at the Public Accounts Committee meeting on one recurring issue. The Ministry of Finance needed immediate help with monitoring Government expenditure. The issue was first raised
29 Jan 2015 10:56
Boost Monitoring: PAC

There was consensus yesterday at the Public Accounts Committee meeting on one recurring issue.

The Ministry of Finance needed immediate help with monitoring Government expenditure.

The issue was first raised by Government Whip Semi Koroilavesau just as the committee began their deliberations yesterday.

“I’m concerned about the capacity of the Ministry of Finance because some of the problems recur in 2013.

“I suggest taking it to Parliament because we cannot allow the 2015 Budget to go through like this. Otherwise it’ll be just another historical story we’ll tell at the end of the year when we meet as a committee,” he said.

The ministry’s chief accountant, Necani Lagicere, committee chairman Biman Prasad and UNDP consultant Rob Oakeshott were quick to back the idea. Government member of the committee Sanjit Patel said they did not need to vote on the idea because everyone agreed it was the way forward for the committee.

“So we all agree that the motion we submit to Parliament will be to ask that the Ministry of Finance immediately resource the monitoring unit to address the recurring issues,” said Mr Prasad.

The committee continued to express its concern about the recurring issues from 2007 to 2013. Yesterday, they focused on the 2008 Public Accounts Committee report on the Auditor-Generals report.

 

Other recurring issues:

Non submission of annual reports and accounts

Mr Prasad said, as an example, he couldn’t find the annual reports of the Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) from 2012-2013 on their website. Acting Auditor-General Atunaisa Nadakuitavuki blamed the high turnover in board membership on various state entities and statutory organisations that prevented individuals from taking responsibility for the problems. Provincial councils continued to be plagued with poor financial controls making them one of the worst offenders in Government.

 

Unbudgeted revenue

The Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority was put under the spotlight with suggestions they were under-forecasting to show they were doing well.

 

Project payments

It was revealed from the 2008 reports that cheques and payments had been approved for paper projects without any tangible work to show on the ground.

The committee meets again at 9am this morning.

Feedback: josuat@fijisun.com.fj

 

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