A-G's Report: 'Irregularities recurring because victims always go unpunished' – Vitus Azeem

Azeem Vitus Azeem, Chairman of the Tax Justice Coalition, Ghana (TJC)

Thu, 1 Sep 2022 Source: atinkaonline.com

Vitus Azeem, an anti-corruption  says Financial Irregularities in the Auditor General’s report keep recurring because people involved in the irregularities do not get punished.

The comment by the anti-corruption crusader follows damning verdict on key ministries, departments and agencies in the 2021 Auditor-General’s report.

Some GHS17.4 billion financial irregularities were highlighted in the 2021 Auditor-General’s report.

These infractions include tax irregularities which formed 91.5 per cent of the total financial infractions, key among which is a rescheduled debt of GHS402,804,572 owed by some 28 Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) who had failed to honour their default payment between January 2021 to December 2021.

The others centered on cash irregularities amounting to GHS45,763,607, which represented 4.23 percent of total irregularities; indebtedness/loans/advances, amounting to GHS30,758,576, also represented 2.8 per cent.

Payroll irregularities, further amounted to GHS5,583,498; stores and procurement irregularities amounted to some GHS511,569; contract irregularities amounted to GHS1,559,424, among others.

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Reacting to the issue on Atinka FM’s AM Drive with host Kaakyire Ofori Ayim, anti-corruption crusader Vitus Azeem says until persons cited in the regularities are punished, the irregularities will keep occurring.

He added that these acts of corruption have been normalized and as such people engage themselves in there irregularities with” impunity”.

Vitus Azeem revealed that although the auditor-General does not have prosecutorial powers, it has the power to surcharge and disallow some expenditure.

“Unfortunately, the Auditor-General has been reluctant to surcharge and disallow some expenditure. The Auditor-General should start surcharging persons involved in these irregularities so that they pay the money backwards and if they are not happy they can go to court for the courts to be the determining body”, Vitus Azeem added.

Source: atinkaonline.com
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