Mr. Speaker, thank
you for the opportunity also to contribute to the motion.
Mr. Speaker, I start by commending the agency that actually sponsored the public hearings of our Public Accounts Committee this year. The reaction from the public actually showed that most of the work that we have been doing behind the scenes had not been recognized and it is my prayer and wish that subsequent Public Accounts Committee hearings will be aired live so that people will be able to appreciate them and the offences that are committed also would be highlighted.
It is in this vein that I want to also urge our friends in the media, as they did during the public hearings, to also do well to highlight the Report that we are considering today so that the recom- mendations are also made known to the public and those who are supposed to take certain actions or refunds moneys would be noted by the general public.
Mr. Speaker, my second point is in reference to the spraying exercise that was supposed to have been carried out by the Ministry of Tourism and Diasporan Relations at La area. During our hearing some of us actually had problem with the whole contract that was awarded because it was stated that a Cuban had developed some pesticide which could be used in spraying mosquitoes without affecting the water and other bodies around and they were to test its efficacy.
The question that some of us asked was if they were actually going to test the efficacy of this pesticide why should a contract of ¢2 million be given to that particular firm to carry out that particular exercise. And the mode and manner by which this contract was awarded was also questionable because they never passed through the proper procedure.
This is because if it was the firm that was awarded the contract, the Report indicated that the ¢2 billion was paid directly to Messrs Sunrise, a sub-contractor. So what was the contract between the Cuban firm - And which part of it was sub-letted to this Sunrise Company to the extent that the agreement was rather between Sunrise and the Ministry of Tourism, instead of Sunrise and the Cuban firm?
Mr. Speaker, if you go to page 9 of the report, paragraph 48 - with your permission, I read:
“Management should also provide sufficient evidence to the Committee showing that the mosquito spraying exercise was satisfactorily done.”
The date was supposed to be 31st March, even though we did not move this motion until now. I think that an instruction given to a Ministry or whatever agency as far as the work of your Committee is concerned must be taken seriously. Many a time when you ask for a report or some evidence from the Ministry, it is not forthcoming. And that is not good enough; it is like they are not taking our work very seriously.
Therefore, I think that the time has come for the Committee and Parliament as a whole to take serious view of people who flout directive from either a committee of Parliament or Parliament, to submit any information to it within a specified period of time.
Mr. Speaker, I therefore want to use this opportunity, once again, to say that we are interested in knowing the final details of this particular project. So management, as we requested, must do well to submit
this report for us to get to the bottom of this matter.
Mr. Speaker, finally, I want to say that your Committee, the Public Accounts Committee, many a time we need to do follow-ups to certain issues, certain agencies to enhance the work, and in order that we will be seen to be very effective more funds should be allocated to the Public Accounts Committee so that we can carry out this exercise effectively.
Mr. Speaker, with this, I want to support the motion.
Alhaj i Muntaka Mohammed Mubarak (NDC - Asawase): Mr. Speaker, I rise to support the motion that this House adopts the Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the Report of the Auditor-General on the Public Accounts of Ghana for the year ending 31st December, 2005. Mr. Speaker, you could see from the contributions of hon. Members, most especially the very senior ones that since the 1990s, every year, we have this report being read and nothing serious seems to be done about it.
Mr. Speaker, I think there are two major things that we need to look at. First and foremost, its prevention; we need to prevent these things from occurring, so that we would not to be bothered every year with these huge figures being mentioned.
Mr. Speaker, if you look at the Report before us, on page 14, the Conclusion, you will realize that that of yesterday's, that is 2004 Report, the total amount that was outstanding as reported by the Auditor- General was about ¢226.3 billion, that of 2005 is ¢247.8 billion. This clearly indicates that it is going up, and we cannot just sit unconcerned and pretend after just reading the report that that is enough.
Mr. Speaker, this House has a responsibility; we are supposed to play