Auditor-General doesn’t need prosecutorial powers – Casely-Hayford

Lorlornyofm
By Lorlornyofm February 6, 2018 21:02

Auditor-General doesn’t need prosecutorial powers – Casely-Hayford

A member of pressure group, Occupy Ghana, Sydney Casely-Hayford, is not enthused by a request from the Auditor-General (A-G), Daniel Yaw Domelevo, to the Attorney General (AG) for prosecutorial powers to enable his outfit deal with officials indicted in the reports of the State Auditor.

According to Casely-Hayford, the Auditor General does not need such powers since the Attorney General’s office is already mandated to handle such cases.

David Domelevo at a press conference on the back of revelations from a 2016 audit of the finances of the various ministries, departments and agencies, which revealed that some state agencies engaged in unlawful monetary practices, said “…if a fiat is given by the Attorney General to Audit Service just like it has been given to the police and others to prosecute…which I have actually applied for, you will see me in action.”

But Sydney Casely-Hayford stated that it would not be wise for the State Auditor to take up the mandate of the Attorney General and other agencies which already have prosecutorial powers.

His views contradict those of his Occupy Ghana colleague, Ace Ankomah, who backed the Auditor General’s request.

According to Ace Ankomah, this request, when granted, will empower the Auditor General to not only surcharge corrupt officials but also prosecute them.

“Right now, his powers are limited to disallowing and surcharging, but if you read the reports from the Auditor General from over the years, you will weep at the blatant theft, the falsification of certificates, the fraudulent practices in the Auditor General’s report,” he said on Eyewitness News.

Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Tuesday, Casely-Hayford argued that “the Auditor General has a legal department as part of the service which is like an advisory arm to tell him to make sure that he is on the straight and narrow when he is dealing with criminality. What I think is happening is that, he does have a direct conduit to the Attorney General for the Attorney General to actually go and surcharge people as he finds them. So once he’s done his disallowance and he surcharges you, he produces a docket and that docket goes to the Attorney General and the Attorney General will now be the prosecuting arm.”

“I’m sensing that where he’s going now is the pace at which he wants to move is not in tandem with the pace that the Attorney General is putting forward. So he’s getting a bit frustrated that he’s doing all these work and he is not seeing the prosecution coming through as fast as he wants. So he wants to have the opportunity to do them himself so he could actually guide the pace. I don’t think that is the right thing to do. I think that it will develop into a different arm of administration within the audit service and that might not be the best thing. He has EOCO, Attorney General, all of those arms that he can use in order to prosecute his cases. And I’m inclined at this time to think that he does not need to be given prosecutorial powers. He should put a lot more pressure on the AG and expect that the AG will carry it through.”

He argued that, it would be better to strengthen and upgrade the capacity of the Attorney General’s Department to be able to handle more cases presented to it by the Auditor General instead of creating another prosecutorial body.

Surcharge officials  

The Supreme Court in June 2017 ordered the Auditor General to, with immediate effect; begin surcharging persons found to have misappropriated monies belonging to the state.

The order was secured after a suit filed by pressure group, Occupy Ghana in June 2016.

62 firms surcharged by Auditor General to cough up nearly Ghc9m

The Auditor General subsequently in December 2017, announced that it has surcharged 62 organisationsfor receiving payments from the state without any documentation as proof.

The surcharge certificates totalling GHc8,886,791.9101742 according to the Auditor General, was for the period between December 31, 2013 and December 31, 2015.

The companies, mostly private organisations, also included some state institutions and staff of some government agencies.

In a release by the Auditor General’s office, it said that efforts to track down the listed companies had been fruitless forcing them to publish their names.


By: Godwin Akweiteh Allotey/citifmonline.com/Ghana

Lorlornyofm
By Lorlornyofm February 6, 2018 21:02
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