The Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament has revealed that the Works and Housing as well as Roads and Highways Ministries will pay the cost of the Committee’s breakfast and lunch for the June 24 sitting.
According to Dr. James Klutse Avedzi, it will be the surcharge on the two ministries for their failure to appear before the Committee to explain the 2018 Auditor-General’s Report showing the appropriation of the money granted by Parliament to meet the public expenditure of the various government agencies.
Speaking to Joseph Opoku Gakpo, JoyNews’ Parliamentary Correspondent, Friday, PAC Chairman said the payment will not include the sitting allowances of the 25 members of the Committee and the costs of GBC airtime as earlier indicated.
“The Ministers will be made to pay the money. There are no two ways about it. It will happen. I don’t know the cost but definitely, it is going to be the cost of breakfast and lunch. Basically those two items. It is just the lunch and breakfast which Parliament has to pay for because those things were ordered before they didn’t appear. So definitely those who prepared the food need to be paid. Once Parliament will be paying that money, the invoice must come from the two ministries,” he said.
The Works and Housing Minister, Francis Asenso-Boakye later appeared before the Committee on Friday. He said that he could not attend the PAC sitting because of a cabinet meeting.
Mr. Asenso-Boakye told the Committee that he had directed his Chief Director to communicate his unavailability to the committee, but the letter was delivered late.
He further apologised to the Committee for his absence and promised the occurrence will not be repeated.
Although, Dr Avedzi accepted the apology of the Minister, he insisted that surcharge will not be withdrawn. He said the figures are still being computed and will be sent to the Ministries as soon as possible.
He explained that the food vendor has to be paid for the service render and Parliament cannot be made to foot the bill of botched sitting.
The Ketu North MP said that the surcharge will serve as a deterrent to heads of ministries and other state agencies.
He also warned sector ministers to inform the Committee well ahead of the scheduled sitting if they cannot appear before it as so to avoid Parliament incurring unwarranted costs.