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06 August 2017

Auditor-General meets press on surcharges, sanctions imposed on corrupt public officials

The Auditor-General will Wednesday disclose sanctions his office has imposed on some corrupt public officers cited in audit reports.

 According to Daniel Domelevo, the encounter will afford him the opportunity to share with Ghanaians efforts made to retrieve monies misapplied or lost through corrupt practices.

“We want to give an update to fellow Ghanaians through the media on the status of implementing disallowances and surcharges as prescribed by the constitution and recently pronounced by the Supreme Court of Ghana,” said Domelevo.

The Supreme Court in June this year granted all the reliefs sought by pressure group, OccupyGhana, in respect of the Auditor-General’s powers of disallowance and surcharges.

According to the Court, the Auditor-General must issue disallowance and surcharges in respect of all state monies found to have been expended contrary to law.

Read: Samson’s Take: Article 146

The second relief granted by the Court is that the Auditor-General must take steps to recover all amounts lost to the state, and this covers private persons.

Ace Ankomah, a leading member of OccupyGhana said Wednesday’s presser is welcome news, describing it as historic for Ghana.

“I expect that the Auditor-General will tell us that he has issued some disallowances and surcharges and show some of the documents he has issued and the names of the people he has surcharged and then we will see what the next step will be,” he said.

Image result for ace ankomah

Ace Ankomah

Background

OccupyGhana has been waging war against the lethargic attitude of Auditors-General whom it accused of not applying the law and protecting the public purse.

Every year, the Auditor-General makes serious findings of many instances of misapplication of colossal amounts by public office holders.

Sometimes the public officers make admissions before the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament but none is ever held accountable or punished.

OccupyGhana has argued strenuously that the Auditor-General has the power to disallow expenditures which are not in conformity with the law and to surcharge those responsible.

The group engaged the Auditor-General demanding him to apply the law and recover the billions that went into the drain but the then Auditor-General didn’t appear willing or capable of doing this.

The dithering of the Auditor-General compelled the pressure group to head to the highest court of the land in June last year for specific orders regarding the powers of the Auditor-General to disallow expenditures and surcharge officers found to have engaged in financial impropriety.

The court Wednesday granted all the reliefs.

It further ordered the Attorney-General to take steps to prosecute persons found to have misapplied public funds.

Joy News’ Joseph Ackah-Blay who was in court reported that members of OccupyGhana who were in court expressed excitement after the judgment was read by Justice Sophia Akuffo.

They believe the court’s decision will be applied to retrieve public money misappropriated by public office holders.

 

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