The Auditor-General, Daniel Domelevo, has advised the Ministry of Finance to slap public officials who engage in financial irregularities with hefty sanctions.
This, according to him, would help safeguard the public purse as well as deter others from committing such crimes, among others.
“I, therefore, urge the Ministry of Finance to strengthen internal controls, monitor and supervise the activities of officers, and impose sanctions on officers who commit such infractions to deter others from committing same,” the Auditor-General said in a special audit report.
The Auditor-General in the document dubbed “Special audit report of the Auditor-General on disallowance and surcharge as at 30 November 2018,” ashed out at management of government agencies for allowing financial irregularities to increase unabated.
“The recurrence of irregularities identified in the Auditor-General’s reports resulting in the disallowance and surcharge is a direct result of low level of commitment by management to comply with the provisions of the laws and weak internal control systems.”
Auditor-General chases 112 firms
The Auditor-General said he is after some 112 individuals and institutions whose actions caused the state to lose huge sums of monies.
The Auditor-General has in 2017 and 2018 issued certificates of surcharge and disallowance to some 112 individuals and institutions who engaged in some alleged financial irregularities.
A total of GH¢511, 211,239.04 is expected to be realized if the certificates are honoured.
“During the 2017 and 2018 financial years, and in the reports issued to Parliament and respective MDAs, due to poor cash management and procurement irregularities 112 certificates of disallowance and surcharge were issued against individuals, organizations and institutions who committed financial infractions and were levied for refund of a total amount of GH¢511,211,239.04,” a special audit report released by the Auditor-General stated.
Ghana is said to have lost over GH¢40 billion in irregularities identified in the Auditor-General’s report between 2003 and 2014.
The Auditor-General said his outfit was collaborating with the Office of the Special Prosecutor and also Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) to ensure investigation of such financial infractions.
“I am collaborating with the Office of the Special Prosecutor and also Economic and Organised Crime Office to ensure that these infractions are investigated further, and if need be prosecuted,” Mr. Domelevo disclosed in the special audit report.
He further pleaded with the public to support his outfit in their quest “in protecting the public purse.”
In line with the call, Mr Domelevo said his outfit had also established a public complains directorate in accordance with Regulation 51 of the Audit Service Regulations 2011 to allow the public to support their cause.