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Audit committee exposes irregularities at Pan African parliament

FILE PHOTO: Pan African parliament

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | An Audit Committee has exposed irregularities in the operations of the Pan African Parliament (PAP) and asked the Bureau, the top administrative unit to urgently resolve the cases.

The Committee on Audit and Public Accounts (CAPA) observes that the non-compliance of PAP with the African Union (AU) procurement guidelines, a high turnover of Clerks to Parliament, inadequate staffing and a lack of a Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) and Business Continuity Plan (BCP) at PAP.

The Disaster Recovery Plan and Business Continuity Plan are meant to safeguard the activities of PAP and to ensure that disruption of its activities is mitigated in the event of any unforeseen event that may impact on its ability to continue in existence or functioning as an organ of the AU.

The Chairperson of the Committee, Fantamadi Sekou from Mali, presented the Report to a sitting of the PAP plenary on Wednesday afternoon.

He also noted the instability in the position of the Clerk may lead to ineffectiveness of PAP operations.

“The Bureau having the power to terminate the employment of the Clerk may undermine the independence of the Clerk and hence limit the ability of the Secretariat to discharge its duties,” said Sekou recommending that “The position of the Clerk needs to be protected to ensure stability and effective service delivery in the administration of PAP.”

The Committee further observed that an unapproved amount of US Dollars 150,901 was spent on accommodation, conference facilities and interpretation equipment during the first session of the fifth Parliament held in Kigali, Rwanda in October 2018. The Chairperson said that this was above the US Dollars 100,000 threshold approved by PAP as provided by the AU Procurement Manual.

“It is a sign of deficiency in the internal control system of the PAP and would lead to lack of accountability and probity. Development partners and other stakeholders will not have confidence in the ability of the PAP to manage its funds to achieve value for money,” he said.

The Committee also recommended a review of the PAP structure and to fill up vacant positions in the current structure as well as exploring the possibility of temporary short term employment of staff in areas that require urgent attention. The recommendations and the report were approved by PAP.

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