Special audit report on Information Ministry accounts forwarded to Attorney General

Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Deputy Minister of Information, has said the circumstances under which a special audit report on the 2007-2008 accounts of the Ministry, did not receive the needed attention has been resolved.

He said the report which did not receive attention at the recent hearings of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament has been forwarded to the Office of the Attorney General.

A statement signed by Mr Ablakwa said it was the view of the Auditor General that such special audit reports be acted upon by the Executive branch, hence his department did not make a copy of the report available to the Legislature.

The statement noted that the special report into the accounts of the Ministry of Information and National Orientation for the period 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2008 has been a subject of great interest to the general public.

It said one major excerpt of the audit report in paragraph 49 stated that: “as stated earlier, one of the former Ministers of the Ministry – Hon Stephen Asamoah-Boateng engaged the services of certain individuals and teams to carry out media-related services for Government under the Communication Strategy Implementation Programme.

It said a total of GH¢425,938 was spent on these teams and individuals and the names of the teams, as gathered from the Ministry’s records, include, Media Executives, Editors Forum and Media Monitoring amongst others.

It said the expenditure included allowances and travel expenses paid to people whose identities were not disclosed.

The statement said it considered the approval of the various payments to these teams and individuals as reckless and a wasteful use of state resources and that it expected Hon Stephen Asamoah-Boateng and his deputy Hon Frank Agyekum as Chief Spending Officers to have known that payments made from the Consolidated Fund are governed by laws and regulations.

The statement concluded that government would not shield wrongdoers neither would it aid nor abet in anyway by preventing audits and other investigations from going through due process and coming to a logical conclusion.

Source: GNA

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