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No report from Parliament on annual financial reports – Auditor General

The Auditor General has since 2007 not received any report from Parliament after its deliberations on the country’s annual financial reports submitted by the Audit Service.

This, according to John Boateng Odame Agyekum, Assistant Auditor General in-Charge of Parliamentary Affairs Unit, Audit Service, was a challenge for effective engagement with institutions on implementation of recommendations to reduce infractions and eliminate waste of state resources.

“When Parliament completes deliberations on the Auditor-General’s report, what it does is it either emphasise the recommendations by the Auditor-General or makes other recommendations. Unfortunately, as far back as 2007, the Audit Service has not received any of such report from Parliament.

When these reports are made available to us, it helps us in our follow-ups to check which entities or areas in the recommendations that were made by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) after its sittings have not been complied with. Without it, we are unable to effectively engage these institutions on the implementation of the various recommendations,” he stated.

He was speaking to the  Ghanaian Times on the sidelines of a seminar with media editors in Accra yesterday.

The event was to equip the media to sustain the demand for transparency and accountability in public financial management.

The current situation, Mr Agyekum said, could be responsible for delays in the prosecution of managers of institutions who were found to have abused state resources.

In the meantime, he said there was the need for heads of institutions to intensify monitoring and supervision through questioning of transactions in relation to the use of public funds, as provided for in the public financial management law, to clamp down on infractions and wastage.

Additionally, appropriate sanctions should be handed down to offenders to deter others from engaging in any action that could result in the misuse of state resources, he added.

He advocated the establishment of a neutral body to appoint internal auditors to the various agencies to enable them work without interference from their heads who may be affected by the audit report.

 Johnson Asiedu Akuamoah, Deputy Auditor-General, Audit Service, explained that the Service’s work was to provide critical input in assessing government’s policies and programmes as well as its accompanying benefits.

Further to that, he stated that, it empowered citizens to demand for accountability from the management of state resources and institutions by knowing how resources were utilised.

Legal Practitioner and TV Show Host, Samson Lardy Anyenini, called on media practitioners to fully scrutinise and understand the Auditor-General’s report to enable them make relevant enquiries to ensure judicious use of the country’s resources.

BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS and MALISA TETTEH

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