MISUSE OF PUBLIC FUNDS

Funds allocated to all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) are geared towards achieving certain results meant to facilitate socio-economic development for improvement in the welfare of the people.

When these funds are well utilised by the MDAs, they help to bring about improvement in various areas within the public sector. The end result of this is general growth and development in the public sector.

Unfortunately, many of the MDAs have failed to live up to expectation in the sense that funds earmarked for development are often embezzled, misused or misapplied. This makes it impossible for them to achieve their targets, thereby amounting to total waste of the nation’s scarce resources.

Year-in-year-out, reports about the operations of the MDAs from the Controller and Accountant General paint a picture of irresponsible expenditure and misuse of funds by the offices responsible for the disbursement of funds in such organisations.

As if this is deliberate, it keeps happening every year and creates worry in the minds of many people about why no one is showing concern about such unpleasant developments. Financial misappropriation is a serious matter that cannot be swept under the carpet since resources are always limited at any point in time.

The latest financial report on the MDAs has exhibited the same trend in the misuse of public funds which could have been utilised to bring improvements into the lives of people in the country. This cannot be allowed to continue unabated. What this means is that, we need to ensure that a stop is put to it.

This culture of embezzlement or misuse of funds continues every year because no serious action is usually taken against perpetrators of this act. What we need to do as a nation is to ensure strict punitive enforcement measures against all those who play a role in the misuse of state funds.

Ghana is in need of many things that cannot be easily met due to limited resources. For this reason, we need to prevent waste in the system so as to maximise the use of our limited resources.

Resources will always be limited no matter what. The only way out of this situation is to prevent waste in the form of embezzlement, misuse or misapplication of public funds.

When the Controller and Accountant-General issues reports on the MDAs, it is up to the law enforcement agencies to take up the matter and implement it to its logical conclusion. This way, perpetrators of the act of wasting public funds would be brought to justice.

Probably, the creation of the office of Special Prosecutor will help in ensuring that part of the burden is taken off the shoulder of the Attorney General for quick execution in the courts.

The luxurious lifestyle of public office holders within the MDAs at the expense of the state is a source of concern for all well-meaning Ghanaians in the country. It is very appalling to find public officers in the MDAs engage in selfish, luxurious expenditure to the detriment of the state.

This explains why the office of the Special Prosecutor, yet to be created, must be given a role to play in this effort to sanitise the use of the public purse to serve the interest of the people. This must be done to show the people that indeed we care for them.

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