The Auditor-General (A-G) has asked Government to make internal auditors at the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) staff of the Internal Audit Agency, to ensure their independence and to stem financial malfeasance in the Public Service.
Mr Daniel Yaw Domelevo, the A-G, said this at a media briefing in Accra, during the presentation of the 2016 Liabilities of the MDAs Report ending December 31, 2016.
He proposed an amendment of the Internal Audit Act 2000, (Act 584), to ensure that internal auditors become more independent, from Chief Directors and Principal Spending Officers.
“Barely a week passes by without internal auditors complaining that they want to be part of the Agency,” he stated.
Mr Domelevo said he had received reports of some internal auditors receiving threats of transfer to remote areas for raising queries over financial malfeasance in the public service, hence the need to insulate them from the Public Service.
To control Government expenditure and minimise the risk of wrongful payments, the Auditor-General advised the MDAs to maintain proper records of all payments made to suppliers, contractors and anyone, who had rendered services to the State.
Mr Domelevo recommended that the necessary disciplinary actions, including criminal prosecution, be taken against public officers, who presented fraudulent and unsubstantiated claims to the Ministry of Finance for payment.
The Auditor-General said his outfit had applied to the Attorney-General’s Office for a fiat that would give the Auditor-General the power to prosecute public officials involved in financial malfeasance.
Mr Domelevo said it was time the laws are applied, adding that, anyone who failed to meet the 30 day audit queries from the Audit Service, the Service would block the salary of that person.
He disclosed that, it had disallowed all expenditures labelled as rejected, amounting to over GHc5.4 billion, in accordance with Article 187 (9), and noted that, before any payment could be made, aggrieved persons should go to the High Court for redress.
He warned that anyone, who would authorise the payment or effect payment or receive the payment would be surcharged.
The Report of the Auditor-General on the liabilities of the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), which covered January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016, has been presented to the Speaker of Parliament and would later be tabled before the House.
The audit was conducted in accordance with Section 16 of the Audit Service Act, 2000, (Act 584), with the aim of making recommendation for the payment of certified claims of the MDAs.