The Auditor General of Ghana Daniel Dormelevo swore during his officiating ceremony to serve the people of Ghana to the extent of his abilities. He also pledged to fight the rampant cases of graft that had rocked the ministries.
His appointment has surely come as a relief to many who complained about the ill growth of corruption in the ministries.The auditor general recently unmasked a total of GHc 5.4 billion in overpaid contracts. This coming after concerns of graft in awarding contracts by the ministry. He also opened investigations in order to find the perpetrators. He said that all found guilty will be sacked and prosecuted in the Court of Justice.
The graft was discovered pending an audit of the finances of different ministries, departments and agencies where complaints had been raised in 2016. This discovery took the country by storm, it also acted as a warning to all officials involved in corruption in the different ministries.
The Auditor General’s functions are enshrined in the constitution of Ghana, Section 16 of the service Act. He is mandated to carry out impromptu special audit of all ministries in the Government. He is later obligated to file a report to Parliament on the findings of the audit report.
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During an interview in one of the popular news channel in Ghana, he elaborated on his course and mission as Auditor General Ghana. He further commented on the plight of the ministries and their mode of operations. His push for activation of the Section 16 of the Service Act was due to many complaints lodged against the process of contract processing.
Many Ghanaians were shocked by the audit general report that was submitted to the parliament for tabling. A staggering GHc 5.4 Billion was unaccounted for by the ministry. Upon further investigation on the contracts, it was discovered that the initial amount that was supposed to be paid had been multiplied excessively.
Even after the liabilities of the contractors were contacted, they could not justify the payment. Also there were no supporting documents both by the ministry and the liabilities. It was either the ministry conducted an off the table deal with the liabilities or the documents were hid to further investigation.
There were even cases where the contactors showed up at the ministries headquarters demanding payment for work they had already been paid for. This raised speculations of the service the ministries offered. The ministries were offered time to respond to the allegations before the interim report was made public and pushed forward to parliament.
The name of the corrupt official who were involved in the saga were not mentioned pending investigation. The auditor general stated that the prosecutions of the officials was recommended. Since it is not within the jurisdiction of the Auditor General Ghana to prescribe prosecution, he urged the Attorney General or any other law enforcement agency to open investigations into the report.
His report was faced by criticism by the former Minister of Roads who has experience on the contract awarding process. During his time, many contracts were officialised without any concerns of graft raised. He further argued that it was impossible for a contract work to be paid twice. He said that every contract awarded was recorded in documents which can be tracked.
The claims by the former minister were refuted by the Auditor General on basis of lack of actual facts. He categorized the ex-ministers sentiments as mere opinions and not based on actual concrete evidence.
This development has been lauded by the public as a step in unmasking the ill growth of graft behind the doors of ministries. It was left to the Attorney General to decide on the fate of the accused corrupt officials.
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