No project abandoned in Biakoye District – DCE

There is no government projects abandoned in the Biakoye District of the Oti Region, Ms Comfort Akua Attah, the District Chief Executive (DCE), on Thursday told a Public Accounts Committee of Parliament (PAC) hearing in Accra.

Rather, works are ongoing on the projects, stalled for lack of funds, but have recommenced, and are at various stages of completion.

Mr Samuel Anim, the Civil Engineer for the District, confirmed that there was no abandoned project there, except one, which was a Ghana Education Trust Fund (GetFund) project.

“For now, we don’t have any; about a year ago we had one, which was a GETfUND Project. We did not abandon them. They were stopped for lack of funds,” Mr Anim said, adding that in all, there were about 10 ongoing projects.

The team from the Biakoye District was at the PAC hearing to answer queries on the Auditor General’s Report on the management and utilisation of District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) and other statutory funds for 2015 and 2016.

Among the infractions the District was cited for were abandoned projects, payments without supporting documents, unsubstantiated payments, un-retrieved imprests, unpresented payment vouchers and payment for contracts without monitoring reports or certificates for works done.

It came out that the District had responded satisfactorily to the infractions, which was confirmed by the Audit Service with corresponding documents.

The Service confirmed that subsequent observation showed that the District Assembly was complying with a recommendation to obtain certificates or monitoring reports before payments are made for contracts.

The Committee agreed to an appeal to produce documents not available at a later date.

When the Committee wanted to know where to lay blame on why a Community-Based Health Planning and Services (CHIPS) compounds, which began at Bumbala was relocated to Nkonya, the Audit Service explained that it was a result of lack of due diligence from the Assembly.

According to officials of the Service, the Assembly should have decided, together with the community, on where to construct the health facility.

Rather, Assembly members and the Chief gave the site, and thereafter there was dispute between the Chief and his family. As a result, the project was stopped, repackaged and relocated to Nkonya.

The Committee also queried the Assembly on why it failed to obtain a Value Added Tax invoice of 8,217 to which it responded that they could not be located at the time of the audit, and was not mentioned in the letter inviting it for the hearing.

The Committee agreed for the Assembly to furnish it with those documents at a later date.

The hearings, which began last Monday runs through to Monday, January 20, 2020.

Assemblies in the Greater Accra and Eastern regions have had their turns, and January 17, 2020 is fixed for assemblies in the Western and Western North regions; and January 20 for some technical universities, for the period ending 31st December 2016.

The Central Region, which could not confirm its attendance on Tuesday, January 14, 2020, has been rescheduled.

The Public Accounts Committee of Parliament consists of not more than 25 members and is chaired by a Member who does not belong to the party which controls the Executive branch of Government.

The duty of the Committee is to examine the audited accounts showing the appropriation of the sums granted by Parliament to meet the public expenditure of the Government as presented to the House by the Auditor-General.