Over the last two weeks, parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC), has brought to light mismanagement, waste and poor record keeping of public resources.
One of the key challenges brought to the fore during the sessions is lack of capacity on the part of employees who are running huge budgets. It has emerged that finance and accounts departments were either under staffed or had employees who lacked experience or the qualifications to manage public finance.
This has resulted into glaring irregularities which need to be fixed urgently.
Lack of capacity is one of the challenges faced in various sectors across the country. However, it is extremely risky to place large sums of money in the hands of staff who don’t measure up to the job.
Authorities should expedite processes and set up mechanisms to hire, train and retain staff who can manage public funds.
Additionally, some of the PAC sessions have been left agape after it turned out that the public officials summoned are relatively new in their positions and could not satisfactorily answer the committee’s questions regarding the irregularities.
For PAC to successfully achieve its desired objective of ensuring accountability, it is important that a follow up arrangements is in place, so that those responsible for the mistakes are called to account whether they still hold the positions in which the mistakes were made or not.
Where there is sufficient proof that laws have been breached, relevant institutions such as the Police and National Prosecution Authority should move in urgently investigate further, with a view to bringing to book the wrong doers.