The Public Accounts Committee examined the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development accounting and management practices based on the findings of the Auditor General on the Ministry's 2014 Appropriation Account and other Statements under its purview. In view of the central role played by Treasury in ensuring full accountability, regularity and propriety in the handling and expenditure of public resources as provided in the Public Finance Management Act, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development should lead by example by ensuring that it observes timelines in producing accounts for audit, it produces clean audits and in the event of any observations raised during audits, it responds and acts promptly on audit findings. It is with regret that the Public Accounts Committee noted that as custodians of public funds, the Ministry has not been able to live up to these expectations during the last three years as demonstrated by late submission of consolidated accounts and other statements for audit and failure to respond to and act on audit findings. Some of the issues raised in this Report had been outstanding since 2013.
The Committee however, notes that the appointment of a new Accountant General in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development is promising a new dispensation within the Ministry. When the Ministry appeared before the Committee, he demonstrated unwavering commitment to change the way things were being done within the Ministry and eventually amoss all line Ministries.
He expressed the view that he expected nothing less than professional conduct among the accountants within his department. The Committee is pleased to report to the House that some of the observations raised in the 2014 Auditor General's Annual Report on the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development's Appropriation accounts and other statements were being addressed to the satisfaction of the Committee. Below is a summary of key findings, observations and recommendations by the Committee.