Editor of the Informer Newspaper, Andy Kankam says public office holders found guilty of misappropriation of funds in the Auditor General’s report should not be allowed to refund these monies.
According to him, allowing for refunds only gives more room for corruption. He believes all public officials found guilty of misappropriation of funds must be sentenced to a term of imprisonment to serve as a deterrent to all.
“It is the duty of the Auditor General to submit these audit reports to parliament for recommendations but what disappoints me is that every year these reports come but we don’t see any results. From the report, a staff of NEDCo was supposed to pay money into state accounts but refused. Now the report has asked him to just refund the amount with interest and I don’t agree to it.
This individual must be placed behind bars and not be asked to refund any money. The Minister of Energy must ensure people working under his Ministry are diligent. Such a person deserves a jail term as refunding the money is not enough, the culprit needs to be jailed,” he reiterated.
Andy Kankam added, authorities need to start punishing culprits and not just making publications.
He made this known in the Editors’ Take edition of the Happy Morning Show aired on e.TV Ghana and Happy98.9FM.
Managing Editor of the Custodian Newspaper, Awudu Mahama who was in the studios objected to Andy’s position and insisted that corrupt officials refunding stolen money is the way to go.
“We don’t want people who steal or misappropriate state funds to be jailed, they should be made to pay up these monies with interest rather than waste the taxpayer’s money to care for them in jail.”
The Audit Service has, for the first time in 10 years, presented to Parliament all the 12 statutory Auditor-General’s Reports, including four performance audit reports required to be made available to the legislature by June 30, each year.
The acting Auditor General, Mr Johnson Akuamoah-Asiedu, told the Daily Graphic yesterday that the submission of all the reports before the June 30 deadline was a remarkable feat that had not been achieved in the country in the last 10 years.
He explained that the reports would guide lawmakers in holding public office holders accountable.
They would also help especially members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament who relied on such reports in the execution of PAC’s mandate.
The 12 reports include the Report of the Auditor-General on the Consolidated statements of Foreign Exchange Receipts and Payments of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) for year ended 31 December, 2020; Report of the Auditor-General on the Public Accounts of Ghana: Public Boards, Corporations and other statutory Institutions for the period ended 31 December, 2020; Report of the Auditor-General on the Accounts of District Assemblies for the year ended 31 December, 2020; Report of the Auditor-General on the management and utilisation of the District Assemblies’ Common Fund and other statutory funds for the year ended 31 December, 2020.
Others are the Report of the Auditor-General on Pre-University Educational Institutions for the financial year ended 31 December, 2020; Report of the Auditor-General on the Public Accounts of Ghana: Technical Universities for the year ended 31 December, 2020; Report of the Auditor-General on the Public Accounts of Ghana, Ministries, Departments and other Agencies for the financial year ended 31 December, 2020, and Report of the Auditor-General on the Public Sector Accounts of Ghana (Central Government) for the year ended 31 December, 2020.
The rest are the Performance Audit Report of the Auditor-General on Selected Road Works in the Greater Kumasi Metropolis; Performance Audit Report of the Auditor-General on the Construction of 30, 1000MT Warehouses; Performance Audit Report of the Auditor-General on the Provision of Adoption Services by the Central Adoption Authority and the Department of Social Welfare, and the Performance Audit Report of the Auditor-General on Regulating Reclamation Activities at Small-Scale Mining Sites.