Dealing With The Economic Saboteurs

IN the past few days, the Times has published stories on the Auditor-General’s Report for the year ending December 31, 2013, exposing serious lapses in the administrative system.

The report, in its entirety, has revealed how moneys from the Consolidated Fund allocated to certain public institutions and organisations for specific functions were either misused or misapplied for purposes other than what they were intended.

It also exposed some infractions by some of the institutions and individuals, resulting in the government paying penalties to external creditors.

The report highlights the flagrant violation of the rules and regulations governing the disbursement of public funds, the flouting of policies and procedures of the assemblies, and fraudulent practices in areas such as the school feeding programme which has resulted in the overpayment of GH¢246,135 to 41 caterers.

It is noteworthy that the Auditor-General has not only exposed the rot in the system, but also provided solutions to some of the violations, and recommended sanctions for defaulting institutions and personalities to serve as deterrent.

We do hope that the recommendations would be duly implemented to ensure that public institutions and individuals are held accountable for their lapses and inefficiencies, which result in financial loss to the state.

Most often, the authorities are quick in setting up committees and commissions of enquiry to investigate matters bordering on people fleecing the nation of its resources, but they are hesitant in implementing the recommendations emanating from them.

The failure by the government to implement recommendations of the Auditor-General and punish the culprits encourages public officials to wantonly dissipate public funds. Indeed, in the public’s view, the work of such agencies as the Audit Service and the Public Accounts Committee are needless ventures, as nothing worthwhile comes out of them.

The Times urges the government to ensure that public officials who have abused their positions of trust by engaging in financial malfeasance, as revealed by the Auditor-General’s Report, are duly sanctioned.

This country is facing economic difficulties and the only way to confront these challenges, is to ensure probity and accountability in the handling of public finances.


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