Culprits in Auditor-General’s report must be sanctioned – Ghana Integrity Initiative

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    Director of Ghana Integrity Initiative, Linda Ofori-Kwafo has called for sanctions to be meted out to persons found culpable of corrupt practices in the 2020 Auditor-General’s report.

    Mrs Linda Ofori-Kwafo explained that punitive action remains the surest way to ensure such acts do not recur in the future.

    Speaking on PM Express on Tuesday, she told host, Aisha Ibrahim: “It saddens me when I see the issues reoccurring and sometimes I wonder what we do with the laws, the policies, guidelines that are supposed to help in preventing some of these irregularities.

    “Why would ECG not set up their audit committee and why is nobody sanctioning them? The prevention of the abuse, stealing, that is actually making us have all these huge figures in the report is what we should be talking about.”

    Her comments followed submissions by Director-General of Internal Audit Agency, Dr Eric Oduro Osae that the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has not set up its audit committee after several recommendations from the Agency.

    “When you look at components of the irregularities, there were things that could have been managed. For instance, the ECG bit, the absence of an audit committee for instance is something we have discussed with them. We have written to ECG. They have just refused to set up an audit committee,” he said.

    In the Auditor-General’s report, it emerged that ECG between 2014 and 2016, procured prepaid meters and conductors worth ¢59million, but the machines are still locked up in the company’s warehouse.

    The Auditor-General, therefore, recommended that the management of ECG ensure that the prepayment meters and conductors are issued out to the users.

    Failure to do so, the amount involved should be recovered from the officers who engaged in the procurement.

    The Audit Report also revealed that ECG lost 2,649.08 GWh, which represents 24.30% of power purchased from the power-producing companies, to system losses.

    According to the Director of Ghana Integrity Initiative, legal frameworks such as the Public Procurement Act are in existence to enable institutions to hold persons accountable.

    “As for the recommendations, when are we going to implement them? Even if we implement them today in 2021, 2022, they will keep occurring so how do we prevent them from happening and who is getting sanctioned for not doing the right thing.

    “We have the Public Procurement Act and everything that is to guide us. What other laws do we need? It is all about holding somebody accountable at ECG for instance, holding somebody accountable, all the organisations we are talking about. I think that is what we are lacking,” she stated.

    She held the opinion that people are not being punished for their wrongdoings because authorities in such institutions have not been relieved of their duties.

    “Before you move to the Auditor-General being able to put people before court, the institutions have heads, have internal auditors to prevent these things from happening. Maybe it is because nobody is getting sacked because the Auditor General’s report we saw about an organization is not good enough.

    “Why are people in these organizations not doing anything about it? Leadership in the institution itself is very critical for me,” she explained.

    She held the opinion that people are not being punished for their wrongdoings because authorities in such institutions have not been relieved of their duties.

    “Before you move to the Auditor-General being able to put people before court, the institutions have heads, have internal auditors to prevent these things from happening. Maybe it is because nobody is getting sacked because the Auditor General’s report we saw about an organization is not good enough.

    “Why are people in these organizations not doing anything about it? Leadership in the institution itself is very critical for me,” she explained.