As officials of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources keep basking in their inability to provide adequate answers regarding an alleged financial misappropriation, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Chernor R.M. Bah, who doubles as Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, has given a stern warning that if substantial account is not given of the issues raised in the audit report, the officials involved may likely be detained, the next time they face the committee.
Hon. Deputy Speaker issued the statement following the committee’s displeasure over the manner in which the Director of Fisheries, the Permanent Secretary and other officials were derailing the progress of the committee on queries raised against the ministry for not bringing into account, revenue generated from its operations as reported by the audit team from Audit Service.
The Deputy Speaker and members of the committee had given enough time to the officials, who included the Principal Accountant, to explain pertinent issues on how billions of revenue generated had been expended and discharged.
But with all the ample time given to them, the officials provided no reliable response. Instead, they heaped most of their lapses on predecessors, who include the former Principal Accountant at the Ministry and the Store Keeper.
As a result, the Deputy Speaker, in a unanimous decision with committee members, resolved that the officials report to the next sitting with the former holders of those offices prudent answers to be given.
In retrospect, it had earlier been reported from the sittings of the Public Accounts Committee in Parliament that the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources has huge financial issues to provide answers for, as well as other procurement issues.
By Poindexter Sama
Tuesday May 13, 2014