A damning report from the Auditor General’s Office into the affairs of the Gulf Provincial Government, was presented to the Public Accounts Committee today.
The report found that millions of public monies have not been accounted for by the Provincial Government.
This was largely due to the lack of proper financial reports and audits undertaken at the provincial level. The report by the Auditor General inquired into various sectors in the province.
It found major discrepancies into the handling of public monies towards these sectors in health and education, among others.
Present to face the Public Accounts committee to answer to this, was the Provincial Administrator, Marc Avai, and his senior departmental heads.
Chairman of the inquiry, John Hickey, was clearly disappointed with the findings of the report. Mr. Hickey said, huge sums of money was spent, but there is nothing to account for.
In the health sector, Kerema Hospital was last audited in 2007, and the presence of a provincial health board is non-existent. As a result, health services are not effectively delivered.
The education sector is no different.
Mr. Hickey also called on the provincial assembly to draft a new act to forbid the provincial government to run any business. He mentioned that this should be left to the people.
Of the six business arms of the provincial government, only three are operational, but revenue collection for these business arms is appalling.
For the past 12 years, the provincial government’s cashbook was overdrawn amounting to K125, 000.
In 2006, the PEC approved K2 million to build houses, with K10, 440 as advance payment for over five years, but there is nothing to show on the ground. While there was no registration of quotations in verbal or written records of the K6.9 million for capital works.
The list is endless but this is just the tip of the iceberg into the dysfunctional state of affairs of the Gulf Province.
Mr. Hickey says, nothing has improved.
The Auditor General, Philip Nauga, attributed this failure to the lack of keeping proper records by the provincial government.
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