OSP lacks personnel, logistics – Martin Amidu

Martin Amidu

Martin Amidu

The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) lacks personnel and logistics to do its work months after its establishment, Martin Amidu, Special Prosecutor, has said.

 

He said seven months after taking office, there has been no requisite tools or personnel to do what the office was mandated to do, saying that, “time would tell whether the office succeed or fail with the new experiment of fighting corruption”.

 

Mr Amidu said these on Wednesday in Accra at a two-day workshop on audit accountability for audit personnel, which brought together participants from supreme audit institutions (SAIs), the legislature, and civil society representatives to engage in audit agendas.

 

The workshop was also meant to capitalise on the experience and expertise of, participants in order to collaborate and share ideas to further impact on auditing services.

 

Mr. Amidu said Ghanaians should not believe that his personal attributes as an advocate in fighting corruption could be the solution to the corruption canker, adding that, accepting the position was based on his conviction of protecting, and strengthening accountability of the public purse.

 

He said time would tell whether the office would succeed or fail in the new national agenda in fighting corruption, adding that, “I am saying this publicly because I don’t want to be haunted when I am working.”

 

Mr  Amidu said establishing the office was the latest experiment in fighting corruption in the country, adding that would not translate into curbing corruption; it was the beginning of the President’s intention to fight corruption in the country.

 

He said the success of the office in its formative years would even depend to the extent to which the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) of government, with responsibility to cooperate with the office, would duly collaborate in order to achieve the President’s goal in championing the set up of such an office.

 

Mr. Amidu, however, indicated that, the few months in office did not create a good picture as the current situation where most MDAs have either failed or refused to produce public records on demands to investigate issues on millions of cedis to aid the office, clearly demonstrated that there was a divergent view of the President’s expectation and that of his appointees.

 

He said from his interactions with the President, it was very clear that, the President was much enthused about his flagship office in fighting corruption succeeding “but how do you fight corruption when those appointed where not prepared to collaborate with us.”

 

Mr. Amidu said it was also imperative for the office to be equipped with the logistics and personnel it needed this year, a lean period under the country’s political and democratic dispensation, since waiting till the political season to equip the office could be misconstrued as political agenda by the government, especially, when the office descend on perpetrators of political economic malfeasances.

 

Mr. Daniel Domelevo, the Auditor-General, in his welcoming address, said the workshop was meant to brainstorm on how best to improve accountability through auditing.

 

He said the office of the Auditor-General should not be perceived to be a political office, since its performance was meant to determine how the public purse got its value for the money provided for development in the country, notwithstanding which political party was in office.

 

Mr. Domelevo said the office owed its allegiance to the state, therefore, people must be confident in its pursuit of holding public officers accountable for thier positions, adding that, seven audit reports that had to do with public institutions have been laid before parliament.

By Lawrence Markwei and David Takyi  

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