Former staff of Fisheries Ministry to refund $17,397
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament has directed that eight former staff of the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture to refund an amount of $17,397 being accountable imprest they collected for their travel but have failed to retire.
According to the Committee, the refund of the monies should be done within two weeks and a statement made to the Committee before they finalized their report.
Mr James Klutse Avedzi, Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, gave the directive when the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Mrs Mavis Hawa Koomson and other officials of the ministry appeared before the Committee to respond to queries in the 2018 Auditor General Report being considered by PAC.
In 2017, an amount of $38,200 was given to some staff of the ministry who travelled outside to pay for their hotel accommodation as accountable imprest.
The receipts that were provided by the staff in terms of the expenditure for the trip covered $20,803, leaving a balance of $17,397. The staff were not able to provide evidence or receipts to cover the $17,397 outstanding balance.
However, the auditors in their report pointed out that the breaches of the staff were in relation to monies for the hotel accommodation and accountable imprest, which were not retired after the trip and, therefore, recommended a refund of $17,397 to the state.
Mrs Koomson, in her response to the Committee, explained that the staff provided evidence of their travel and participation in the programme.
She said since she took over the ministry last year, she had ensured that staff members who travelled retired their accountable imprest after every trip.
She said efforts were being made to get the persons involved to retire the amount of money against their names.