No Check and Balance for Contract Officers Spending Public Funds
A huge part of the problem, says Espat, is the fact that there is no oversight for the expenditure of public funds where contract officers are concerned. According to the PAC chairman, there is no political will for government to be held accountable.
Julius Espat, Chair, Public Accounts Committee
“We are at a point where nobody cares because… the contract officers that are handling these monies don’t have anybody over them to force them with a certain level of discipline to do what is right from wrong, so they don’t do it. I spoke personally to the financial secretary who told us that it is not his responsibility to oversee how the ministries spend their money, it is the responsibility of the financial officer from each ministry, and I am saying that is absolutely wrong. Yes, it is the responsibility of each financial officer from each ministry to propose a report and to find out and report what is wrong but at the end of the day it is the Ministry of Finance that issues or authorizes the money to all these ministries so they should have a team in their overseeing the whole system so that people are held accountable. But government does not want to be held accountable for anything, that’s why we have gone, in certain cases, to court to force them to do what is right.”
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