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General News of Saturday, 27 July 2019


PAC needs power to arrest, prosecute over AG’s report – Apaak

A Member of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament (PAC) Clement Apaak says the committee must be given powers to cause the direct arrest and prosecution of defaulting state officials who appear before them over the Auditor General’s report.

According to him, country’s like Kenya have put in place such laws to help their fight against state looters.

Speaking to Starr News, the Builsa South MP said PAC needs additional powers to be efficient in protecting the national purse.

“It is important to add that the PAC does not have the mandate or the power to arrest and prosecute those who are indicted in the auditor general’s report. that is the prerogative of the speaker after we present our report to the plenary.

“And I have advocated that we perhaps need to look at other parts of the continent for best practices, such as in Kenya and Rwanda where the PAC is mandated and empowered by law to arrest even at the sitting when an auditee appears and is not able to justify or challenge any infraction noted against him or her by the Auditor General,” he told Starr News Friday.

The auditor general has also appealed for the laws to be reviewed to enable him have prosecutorial powers.

Speaking on the back of the 2016 Auditor General’s report which revealed that some state agencies engaged in unlawful monetary practices, Mr. Domelevo said, “We are not going to finish our audit and wait for the TV show at Public Accounts [Committee] anymore.”

He warned, “when we finish our audit, we raise observations against you and you decide to ignore it we will disallow the expenditure and surcharge you and I told my colleagues that beginning this year we must have to apply the law”.

Many Ghanaians have expressed concerns over the failure or reluctance by the state to prosecute offenders who are caught in the annual report of the auditor general.

For instance, among many other infractions, the 2018 report says GH¢25.5m realized from 1,719 auctioned cars is missing.