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General News of Thursday, 22 November 2007

Source: Peter Clottey for VOA

Kufuor Criticized Over Graft Fight

..It's purely cosmetic & laughable
... Corruption has slid from bad to worse

A member of parliament(MP) of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) has described President Kufuor’s fight against corruption as purely cosmetic. This follows Kufuor’s directive to all chief executive officers in government institutions to institute a functional internal audit to further expose corruption in the country’s public institutions. But Honorable Paul Appiah-Ofori(pictured) said the president’s directive is inadequate to fight what he described as endemic corruption in the country’s body politic.

Meanwhile, the government says it is committed to promoting a new culture of transparency, which it said frowns on graft and incompetence.

From the capital Accra, Appiah-Ofori tells Voice of America(VOA) reporter, Peter Clottey, that the president’s fight against corruption is laughable.

“As far as I’m concerned it is cosmetic, and nothing would be achieved out of it. You see he (President Kufuor) gave directive that MDS (Ministries, Departments, and Agencies should all establish internal audits units. If you establish internal units, which fail to perform the functions they are supposed to perform, then the establishment of the units is useless,” Appiah-Ofori noted.

He explained what he said would be the antidote to fight graft in the country.

“In the fight against corruption, there are two main weapons which, if properly deployed, can get rid of corruption. And these are internal audits and external audits. The internal audit as a matter of fact prevents the perpetration of the fraud or corrupt practices while the external audits detect a report made thereon to the appropriate authorities for remedial action. So if you want the internal audit to be of use, then the internal auditor must report to the chief executive of the organization, who is as a matter of fact responsible for internal control,” he said.

Appiah-Ofori said the president has not done enough to fight graft as promised.

“I have not seen it because corruption has slid from bad to worse in the public service,” Appiah-Ofori said.

He reiterated his disappointment in the president’s graft fight as one that would not be a good legacy.

“He will not because corrupt practices have not abated since he took office,” he pointed out.

Clottey Interview With Hon. Paul Appiah-Ofori audio clip
Listen to Clottey Interview With Hon. Paul Appiah audio clip