A pressure group, OccupyGhana is urging the Auditor General’s Office to issue disallowances and Surcharges in its reports.
According to the pressure group, it is the duty of the Auditor-General to do the above, and failure to do so is tantamount to contempt of the Supreme Court and a high crime.
“We write to demand that you forthwith issue disallowances and surcharges to all persons you have identified as having been either engaged in or responsible for the illegal use of government funds in your 2019 and 2020 Audit Reports,” it said.
“This is because you are bound to do so, and any omission constitutes both contempt of the Supreme Court and a high crime under the Constitution,” it added.
This is contained in a letter addressed to the Auditor General and dated September 7, 2021.
According to OccupyGhana, the Auditor General’s Reports are replete with ‘irregularities’ that have led to the loss of huge amounts of government funds, which article 187(7)(b) of the Constitution calls (i) ‘expenditure which is contrary to law,’ (ii) sums ‘not been duly brought into account and (iii) ‘loss or deficiency [through] negligence or misconduct.
Additionally, the pressure group reminds of the fact that a Supreme Court judgment in 2017 in OCCUPYGHANA v ATTORNEY-GENERAL indicated clearly that the exercise of his power, is mandatory.
“Sir, once you determined these had taken place, you did not have any discretion: you must disallow and surcharge. In 2017, the Supreme Court held in OCCUPYGHANA v ATTORNEY-GENERAL that the exercise of your power to disallow and the surcharge is ‘mandatory, and no longer permissive,’ and could no longer be ‘at the whims and caprices of the Auditor-General.’’it indicated.
In conclusion, the group, therefore, demanded with immediate effect, the issuance of surcharge and disallowances in instances where such orders can be made in 2019, and 2020 Auditor-General reports, where irregularities have been identified.
Also, the letter referred to the fact that under the former AG, many disallowances and surcharges were ordered however under the current Auditor General, Mr. Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu, the situation is different.
” Under the tenure of Daniel Domelovo as Auditor-General, many disallowances and surcharges were ordered, including one against then Senior Minister Yaw Osafo Marfo, an order which was overturned later by a court,” it stated.
“Under acting Auditor-General Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu, no surcharge and disallowance have been issued,” it ended.