The Committee for Joint Action (CJA), a political pressure group on Wednesday urged the Judicial Service to institute measures to retrieve monies lost to the State through maladministration and lapses highlighted in the Auditor-General’s Report for January 2008-December 2009.
“It is not enough for the top hierarchy of the Judicial Service to shift blame for the malfeasance and lapses to its Finance Officers,” the Group added.
Mr Kwesi Adu, Convener of CJA made the call at a follow-up press conference on the Auditor General’s Report on the Judicial Service of Ghana (JUSAG) between January 2008 and December 2009.
The CJA on July 20, this year held a press conference and outlined the extent of corruption, malfeasance and incompetence in the Judicial Service as revealed by the Auditor General’s Report.
However, after this the Service responded to the report that it was a draft and were responding to the findings.
According to the report more than GH¢33,765,645.82 was lost to the state in bizarre circumstances.
Mr Adu said contrary to claims by the Service that it was responding to the report, the receipt of responses from it (Service) to the report was opposite.
He said the CJA was in possession of a letter from the Judicial Secretary dated May 26, 2011 addressed to the Auditor General’s Department in which they tried to respond to original findings they had failed to respond.
Mr Adu said the responses from the Judicial Secretary further revealed the sordid state of the management in the Judiciary and the failure by the Service to prepare any financial statement since 2005 as required under the law.
He said the letter from the Judicial Secretary cited Mr Prosper Adeti, Director of Finance and his deputy Mr Abdulla Issah as being interdicted for allegedly embezzling funds in respect of Ho and Sunyani Regional Offices of the Service.
Mr Adu said with an outstanding balance of more than GH¢33,765,645.82 being lost to the State, expenditure incurred without any payment vouchers amounted to GH¢17,995,852.28.
Response from the Service is that Mr Adeti had been asked to produce the payment vouchers and the internal audit is now vetting the list submitted by the auditors.
On the non-maintenance of contract register and improper handling of contract payments with the implication of an unexplained expenditure of GH¢2,526,238.22 it replied that the register was now being maintained.
Mr Adu said other findings included an amount of $65,928.78 wrongly withdrawn from the Dollar Account for the payment of foreign travels, accommodation, subsistence allowance and cheques issued for the payment of goods and services which the Service failed to respond.
“We also ask that all persons found to have acted in a manner that flouted existing laws on the disbursement of public funds in the report, be made to face the law,” he added.