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Opinions of Monday, 16 August 2021

Columnist: Ahmed Osumanu Halid

Auditor General and the annual no action movies

Acting Auditor-General, Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu Acting Auditor-General, Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu

The Auditor General is mandated by the Constitution of the Republic in Articles 184, 187 and 286 to audit public accounts of Ghana and any other public office.

Various Ministries, departments, agencies, the courts, District, Municipal and Metropolitan Assemblies and Parliament are audited. That is, all state machineries that take their monies from the consolidated fund fall under the remit of the Auditor General's investigation.

Simply, the state gives you money to utilize for the running of your institution by extension the country, and at the end of the year, you prepare a financial statement to inform the state how you utilized the money given to you.

It is sad, pathetic and disgusting that since the inception of 4th Republic almost all the financial reports audited by the constitutional body, the Auditor General have been negative and just sapping the energy of the country financially. From the Executive, Parliament and Judiciary, the story is sickening and annoying.

The country has many deficits to correct. These include educational infrastructural, roads, hospitals, housing, transportation etc.. It is therefore very disgusting that the state does not punish the culprits of such messes.

The annual reports the AG audits and submits to Parliament for action against the nation wreckers just end up with the Public Accounts Committee only for the optics.

Sadly, sponsors spend huge money for live broadcast or telecast and the outcome is nothing to benefit the population.

It is very ironic that these perceived and alleged stealers are not punished or prosecuted but a goat or plantain thief is prosecuted and jailed. Oh no. The enforcement of our laws should be fairly 'distributed'.

I pray that the leadership will be up and doing by nipping this corrupt and mismanaged system into a bud.

It is very disgraceful to read about supposedly organized, and respected and well resourced organizations such as the universities, Ghana Cocoa Board, the Social Security and National Insurance Trust and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority being cited for corruption and financial mismanagement, looking at their structure and organization. Have we thrown away the practice of good corporate governance?

So the numerous reports and the recommendations since the coming into force of the 4th Republic are mere paper works, rhetoric worthless against the state.

I pray that the current Special Prosecutor, my lecturer at the Legon School of Law, Kissi Agyaben will walk his talk by decisively dealing with the nation destroyers especially on the annual AG reports and other malfeasance acts.

He should smoke them out, prosecute them and ensure that our monies are retrieved with interest and if possible, they should be incarcerated, to serve as lesson to any potential stealer or stealers. The annual report of mentioning wild figures without any punishable action should be dissuaded and dustbined.

Our leaders are disturbing the soul of our nation for their inactions. The time for the application of the law to change the narrative is now.

Attorney General and Special Prosecutor please act now.

The power to punish doesn't fall under the purview of the Auditor General rather the Attorney General.

Auditor General audits and the Attorney General prosecutes and the Judiciary or the the Courts convict and sentence the culprit.

I pray that these Constitutional bodies will cooperate to salvage the nation.

The lip service is enough, the time for action is now.