Accounts committee: Fiscal management lacking

National, Normal

The National – Friday, December 17, 2010

THE parliamentary Public Accounts Committee has stressed that service delivery in all areas of social need is either poor or non-existent due to accounting and fiscal management failure at every level of government.
The committee made known its findings and recommendations at a press conference yesterday.
PAC chairman Martin Aini told reporters that the committee had completed its inquiries this year, covering the last five years, and had concluded that there was a general breakdown in the enforcement of fiscal accountability by the responsible agencies.
“It became clear that budgets and money were generally capable and targeted – at least in principle, but services were just not getting to the people,” he said.
Aini said there were strict laws governing the use of all public funds and there was no reason why all Papua New Guineans should not be getting the required services.
The PAC chairman, accompanied by deputy chairman and Wewak MP Dr Moses Manwau and committee member and Laiagam-Porgera MP Philip Kikala also produced a list of recommendations calling for immediate reforms and the need to update the Public Finances Management Act.
They also called for the upgrade of the PGAS budget management systems which, they claimed, could not prevent invalid budget codes and to improve financial reporting and format for public accounts.
In the last five years, the PAC had referred 258 cases to relevant authorities but no actions were instituted.
On the PAC inquiries over reports produced by the auditor-general, Aini said: “Facts found showed failure of accounting and fiscal management at every level of government. 
“Not one national government department could make, keep or submit statutory financial records or accounts.”