The Auditor General, Daniel Domelevo, has accused the media of blowing out of proportion his request to the Attorney General for prosecutorial powers to enable his outfit to deal with persons and institutions indicted in the annual audit reports.
According to Domelevo, he is not in “dire need” of such powers as being speculated.
“That is just a request we have made to the Attorney General. It is not something I am dying for. I’m not in dire need of prosecutorial powers, that is not my job. My job ends with audit.”
[contextly_sidebar id=”iJ39FbcDYfJxXjKLzxzzFxiGBxfYVyXm”]“If there is a need and the Attorney General wants to extend that power to me, I will help. So it’s not like when we don’t get that power from the Attorney General, we cannot function as auditors. It is being played out of proportion by the media,” he added in an interview on the Citi Breakfast Show on Tuesday.
David Domelevo at a press conference on the back of revelations from a 2016 audit of the finances of the various ministries, departments and agencies, which revealed that some state agencies engaged in unlawful monetary practices, said “…if a fiat is given by the Attorney General to Audit Service just like it has been given to the police and others to prosecute…which I have actually applied for, you will see me in action.”
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Tuesday, Mr. Domelevo said he feels bad about the media reports.
“They’ve also made me feel bad like it is the media against the Attorney General. So it’s not like when we don’t get that power from the Attorney General, we cannot function as auditors. It is being played out of proportion by the media,” he added.
GHc5.4 billion wrongfully paid
A 2016 audit of the finances of the various ministries, departments and agencies, had revealed that some state agencies engaged in unlawful monetary practices.
The Auditor General had also earlier disclosed that, some GHc5.4 billion was wrongfully paid to contractors and other service providers by officials at the various ministries between 2014-2017.
Domelevo said he has disallowed such payments, and has recommended prosecution of the officials who presided over same.
Ace Ankomah backs prosecutorial powers of Auditor General
Reports of Mr. Domelevo’s request have been supported by some anti-corruption crusaders who believe such powers will help protect the public purse.
A member of pressure group, Occupy Ghana Ace Ankomah, backed the request.
According to Ace Ankomah, this request, when granted, will empower the Auditor General not only to surcharge corrupt officials, but also prosecute them.
“Right now, his powers are limited to disallowing and surcharging, but if you read the reports from the Auditor General from over the years, you will weep at the blatant theft, the falsification of certificates, the fraudulent practices in the Auditor General’s report.”
Don’t give him any power
But another member of Occupy Ghana and financial analyst, Sydney Casely-Hayford, said the Auditor General does not need such powers.
According to him, the Auditor General should instead put pressure on the Attorney General to prosecute persons indicted in the audit report.
The Supreme Court in June 2017 ordered the Auditor General to, with immediate effect; begin surcharging persons found to have misappropriated monies belonging to the state.
The order was secured after a suit filed by pressure group, Occupy Ghana in June 2016.
62 firms surcharged by Auditor General to cough up nearly Ghc9m
The Auditor General subsequently in December 2017, announced that it has surcharged 62 organisations for receiving payments from the state without any documentation as proof.
The surcharge certificates totalling GHc8,886,791.9101742 according to the Auditor General, was for the period between December 31, 2013 and December 31, 2015.
The companies, mostly private organisations, also included some state institutions and staff of some government agencies.
In a release by the Auditor General’s office, it said that efforts to track down the listed companies had been fruitless forcing them to publish their names.
Click below for the Auditor General’s interview on the Citi Breakfast Show:
By: Godwin Akweiteh Allotey/citifmonline.com/Ghana