Defeamekpor calls for prosecutorial powers for Auditor-General

Rockson Defeamekpor

Mr Rockson-Nelson Defeamekpor, the Member of Parliament for South Dayi, has called for prosecutorial powers to allow the Auditor-General to prosecute persons implicated in audit reports.

He said though the Auditor-General had the power to surcharge the offenders, that was not sufficient to deter persons or institutions from engaging in such acts.

Mr Defeamekpor, a member of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament, said this on Wednesday at the Zonal PAC hearing in Ho, which had the Accra, Koforidua, and Ho technical universities appearing to answer infractions identified in the 2021 Auditor-General’s Reports.

He said there must be a legal avenue for the Auditor-General to prosecute the indicted persons or institutions.

The Auditor-General itself, in addition to the power to a surcharge, should also have power to prosecute because a refund alone was not punitive enough, he said.

Mr Defeamekpor said the Constitution only enabled Parliament to interrogate the report the Auditor General submitted annually before offenders could be surcharged.

“The Committee decided to make referrals to the Attorney General’s office for infractions such as breaches under the procurement law,” he said.

“Since May, this year, the Committee has written to the Attorney General’s office for the prosecution of some institutions due to breaches under the procurement law but the response is yet to come.”

The South Day MP also asked for Parliament to be given some prosecutorial powers to directly sanction persons or institutions implicated in audit reports, as that could be beneficial to the state.

The 2021 Audit Report of Ministries, Departments and Agencies showed that lapses in the management of public finances led to the loss of GH¢1,080,913,824.

Source: GNA

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