The Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Gloria Akuffo, finds herself in hot waters after paying over Ghc 67 million in judgement debt without approval from Cabinet.
Accra-based Citi FM reports that the Attorney General’s Department paid the said amount to the firm, Construction Pioneers.
This was despite the fact that a debt exceeding GHc 10 million cannot be paid without Cabinet’s prior authorization.
The payment was captured in the Auditor General’s 2016 Report, which was discussed during Tuesday, March 12, 2019's Public Accounts Committee sitting.
The Auditor General’s report observed that Construction Pioneers were paid the monies which exceeded the GHc 10 million threshold without the requisite consent.
“A review of the bank statement of the Ministry disclosed that a payment of GHc67,380,718.20 (direct debit) was made to Construction Pioneers as judgement debt on behalf of the state without any reference to Cabinet,” sections of the report read.
The Public Accounts Committee subsequently called out the Attorney General Gloria Akuffo over the decision to make such a payment without approval.
Explaining herself, the Attorney General said she tended in a Cabinet’s Decision Note authorizing the said payments.
“This happened because of the availability of documents at the time of the Audit. The decision note of Cabinet was received at our office on about 4th August 2013. So, yes it has been received but perhaps it was not readily available. Perhaps it goes to record keeping because we have different registries and so it is very difficult to track.
We have tried to overcome that using the computers now to record the mails that come [in] so that it becomes easier for us to trace these documents. I do apologize because I think perhaps at the time, when the exercise was carried out, if this document was available then perhaps the queries wouldn’t have arisen,” Gloria Akufo said.
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Meanwhile, the Committee re-emphasised that all payment above the GHc10 million threshold be referred to Cabinet for approval.
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