Present report within 30 days

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Sugar Ministry Permanent Secretary Yogesh Karan Picture: FT FILE

The Public Accounts Committee has recommended that if permanent secretaries are not available within 30 days after the compilation of an audit report for an exit meeting, the Auditor-General should present the report to the Parliament without any further delay.

The committee stated this in their “Review of the Performance Audit on the Monitoring of Implementation of the Sugarcane Development and Farmers Assistance Program” that was tabled in Parliament last week.

“The committee recommends that permanent secretaries should give importance to exit meeting with the Office of the Auditor-General and an exit meeting should not be used as an avenue to improve on the shortfalls that are highlighted as significant matters in the audit report,” stated PAC.

“The committee further recommends that if permanent secretaries are not available within 30 days after the compilation of the audit report, the report should be presented to the Parliament without any further delay.”

At a Public Accounts Committee hearing last month, permanent secretary for Sugar Ministry Yogesh Karan said he didn’t agree with the findings of the Auditor-General on how sugar grants were managed.

“There is supposed to be an opening and a closing meeting and in this case, at the time of the closing meeting, I wasn’t there,” he had said.

“There was a meeting which wasn’t really a closing meeting because the permanent secretary of the ministry is accountable, then the meeting must be done with the permanent secretary.

“And to this effect I have written to the Auditor General’s office regarding my disagreement in the manner in which the report was concluded and submitted to Parliament.

“It didn’t give me an opportunity to explain most of the things which are here,” Mr Karan said.