General News of 2013-12-14

Don’t blame only politicians for corruption – Sam P. Yalley

Ambassador designate, Sam Pee Yarley, has blamed the recurrent identification of financial malfeasance by the Auditor General in the country’s public boards, corporations and other statutory institutions to weak “bureaucratic structures”.

He says his experience with various state institutions had shown that the suggestion that politicians are the most corrupt people in the country is an unfortunate misconception.

According to him, the Chief Directors, whose tenure of office is not determined by changes in government are mostly responsible for the financial irregularities in the various state institutions such as Ministries due to the bureaucratic structure of the civil and public service.

Sam Yalley was reacting to a recent report by the Auditor General in which GH¢2,019,188,488.76 (US$50,748,780) was misappropriated by public boards, corporations and other statutory institutions.

He was speaking on Radio Gold’s Alhaji and Alhaji programme.

The irregularities, which were listed in the A-G's 2012 report on 77 public boards, corporations and other statutory institutions, include lack of documentation on loan agreements stipulating the terms and conditions, misapplication of funds, overestimation of funds needed and the failure to notify bankers to stop payments of unearned salaries, are listed in the A-G’s 2012 report on 77 public boards, corporations and other statutory institutions.

Mr Yalley said corruption and financial malfeasance has persisted under successive governments even though Ministers, who are perceived to be more corrupt are changed or reassigned frequently.

He said Chief Directors and other civil servants are equally guilty of corruption if not worse than politicians.

“I know of Chief Directors who have various assets but when it comes to assets declaration [issues], they point to the political heads”, he said. He said because ministers largely rely on the advice of Chief Directors of public institutions, the advisors must take the blame when finances are not properly managed.

“The minister does not have the right to write a memo for the release of money…these things are orchestrated and perpetuated by the public servants”, Mr Yalley stated.

He tasked President Mahama to take a critical look at the workings of the civil service if his fight against corruption is to succeed.