You are here: HomeNewsPolitics2017 09 07Article 578345

General News of Thursday, 7 September 2017


Auditor-General chases 35 others for ‘looted’ State cash

The Auditor-General (A-G) has issued more Certificates of Indebtedness to individuals towards the recovery of State funds, which they directly or indirectly caused its wrong utilization, bringing the total to more than 35.

About 100 cases are being processed to determine which ones to be considered for surcharge, an official of the Legal Department of the Auditor-General’s Office, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview on Tuesday.

The certificate covers those involved in cash irregularities and failure to account for State funds.

The offenders are required to refund the money with interest in line with the prevailing Bank of Ghana interest rate.

However, they have up to 60 days to pay up or otherwise go to court to challenge the Auditor General, who has the sole mandate to issue the Certificate.

The GNA wanted to find out the progress of work since Daniel Yaw Domelevo, the A-G, announced at a media briefing, on August 2, that 11 Certificates of Indebtedness would have been issued by the close of that day.

The move is to enforce the constitutional provision that mandates him to disallow public expenditures that are contrary to the law, and surcharge same against persons responsible.

Article 187, Clause 7(b) (i) states: “… the Auditor-General may disallow any item of expenditure, which is contrary to law and surcharge the amount of any expenditure disallowed upon the person responsible for incurring or authorizing the expenditure.”

This is reinforced in the Audit Service Act 2000 (Act 584) Section 17(1-2).
The official commended the Supreme Court, Occupy Ghana, and the Auditor – General for their joint efforts in kick-starting the enforcement of the law to protect the public purse.

He said the issuance of the indebtedness certificates had generated a lot of interest and caution among both private and public officers, especially in the district assemblies, because many persons did not want to fall foul of the law.

“People are now keen to probe suspicious expenditures in the past and to disassociate themselves from non-existing procurement,” he stated.

“This is a good development for Ghana, which must be supported by all stakeholders, including the media.”

The Auditor-General, with his team, he said, would follow the due process of law to ensure that both private and public persons who were culpable settled their respective debts.

However, he said, with the backlog of cases to be cleared, the Government should authorize the engagement of adequate competent personnel to help with the professional auditing and the process of recovering wrongly applied State funds.

The A-G has put together a team of personnel who have been trained to conduct forensic audit and build competent cases, which could be successfully prosecuted should it become necessary.

In June this year, the Supreme Court ordered the Auditor-General to quickly begin surcharging persons found to have misappropriated State funds.

This follows a suit filed by Occupy Ghana, a pressure group, to compel the Auditor-General to honour this responsibility as is enshrined in the 1992 Constitution.