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Out of 34 government statutory bodies in Va nuatu, 71% were not aware of their own Acts before the PAC Hearings began on the 1st of April.


A FURTHER 50% of all government statutory bodies do not have ‘qualified accountants’, and 51% of them were not aware of the Public Finance & Economic Management Act, this is according to the findings revealed by the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on 10 April 2015.

It took 5 days of intense questionings and further unscheduled summons to satisfy the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

The results surprised the PAC, even more surprising was that the leaders that were summoned seemed “not worried at all” of their failures, expressed the PAC Chairman MP Marcelino Pipite.

Every statutory bodies, government departments including the parliamentarians must go through the same process because they; get paid, spend, and allocated with funds that belongs to the public. The Public Finance & Economic Management (PFEM) Act, Part 10, Subsection 43 (1) states clearly that ‘Public money is the property of the State’, therefore the public has to be made aware of how funds are being spend.

The press conference that was held on 10 April delivered on the findings and the recommendations of the Public Accounts Committee which will also be presented to the government:


Findings and Resolutions of the Hearing conducted on the 1st to the 9th of April 2015


1. Institutions do not comply with the Public Finance and Economic Management (PFEM) ACT, (17) 1.
2. Authorities supervising the institutions do not know about the PFEM ACT and own ACTs.
3. Many of these institutions manage to pay their salaries and benefits however failed to pay the government dividends.
4. Board members do not know how to administer their institutions.
5. There is no accountant hired in some of these institutions, and they have not recruited professional accountants to do professional duties.
6. The Heads of Institutions do not worry about breaking the law.
7. Money allocated and collected are State Money/ Public Fund – Part 10, subsection 43 (1).
8. The Public Accounts Committee used the Police on several cases to summon people, however did not prosecute anyone.


Recommendations
PAC to ask the Prime Minister and the government to:


1. Relook at the government state owned enterprises – if not paying any dividends then government must reconsider decisions.
2. Public Service to enforce the law of the Public Service:
a) When recruiting.
b) When they (Public Servants) do not do their jobs.
3. Ask the Public Service to enforce cap 246 (section 33 on allowances) – fees for official services when Director Generals and Directors are sitting as board members and receiving allowances.
4. VNPF – re-establish its subsidy companies (Limited Companies): Members Financial Services Limited (MFSL), Ranch de Bouffa Ltd, and VNBR with regards to their reporting requirements.
5. Government Remuneration Tribunal – check all salary scale across the board.
6. NISCOL – restructure before extending the concessional agreement.
7. Amend the Expenditure Review and Audit Act to enable the PAC and AG to punish to noncompliance to PFEM Act.
8. Ask VNPF to stop investing for the time being.
9. Ask the government to establish the Public Accounts Office – budget of VT5, 000,000.
10. Increase PAC budget: VT3, 000, 000 x 3 Hearings/year = VT 9, 000, 000.


Transparency International Vanuatu is preparing a more detailed summary of the findings, the short summary will be published online on the TIV blogsite http://www.tivnews.worpress, and in the paper.

You can subscribe to http://www.tivnews.wordpress to get the weekly news by Transparency International Vanuatu.

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