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Dismiss the Auditor General with immediate effect

Sat, 21 Jan 2012 Source: Tetteh, Ephraim

The press release by the Auditor General"s dept to the effect that only 17m Gh cedis

was paid to Woyome in 2010 but not 58 million captured by the Auditor General"s own

report to parliament, should claim the job of at least one person and that is the

Auditor General himself. The crass incompetence displayed here by the Auditor

General is too instructive and for me there is only one honourable thing left for

the Auditor General to do and that is for him to resign with immediate effect. If a

whole Auditor General can be in this country ,witness the raging storm over the

Woyome matter as it has gone on for three to four weeks now, only for him to turn

around and disclose some supposed errors after Ministry of Information had

demanded specific answers on the matter, then not only can he be said to be not on

top of his job but indeed his gross incompetence could cost Ghana dearly in future

and President Mills must do the right

thing by relieving him of his post . Who knows other errors committed in his

reports which may not inure to Ghana"s benefit. I just cannot believe what i am

hearing. Even just last week on saturday, 7th january 2012 in kumasi,to be precise,

officials of the Auditor General"s department met the Public Accounts Committee of

parliament and this issue of errors in the report were not raised by the auditors.

This is extremely outlandish. So at what point did they realise the errors.? But

even stretching the matter further, i think the Minister of Finance and especially

the Accountant General have questions to answer for these grave errors. In any case

the Auditor General submits copies of the draft audit reports to Ministry of

Finance, the Accountant General and agencies for corrections before it is finally

submitted to parliament. So why couldnt any of these agencies detect these so

called errors?. What is more, the Auditor General

submitted his report to parliament on 30th june 2011,over six months ago , and

these supposed errors were not detected until now that the Public Accounts

Committee is ready to sit on the report. This is a serious matter and we should not

allow it to go to rest just like that. Also since serious red flags have been

raised about the audit report in question (2010), the Public Accounts

Committee must do extreme due diligence on it . The committee must scrutinize and

cross examine all the details in the report especially on the Woyome case, and if

there are any attempts by the auditors to cover up anything,they must must all be

exposed.

Now for those of you who have not seen the Auditor Gen"s press release, i repeat

it here: That in 2010 two payment orders were made towards the settlement of claims

by Alfred Agbesi Woyome and that the first payment order for Gc 41,811,481.59 was

issued on the 6th of April 2010. On september 22, 2010 another payment order for

Gc17,094,493.54 was issued and paid to Woyome. However Bank of Ghana did not effect

the earlier 41m payment but the 17m was cleared by the bank and paid to him.

The question to ask is why are we now hearing this. And this is their

defence...... "correspondence on the reversal of the 41,811,480.59 was not attached

to the original order in the books of the Controller and Accountant General and was

therefore not available to the team of auditors from the office of the Auditor

General who conducted the audit of public accounts as maintained by the Controller

and Accountant General." My goodness . what is this. A response from a

chartered ccountant,and the Auditor Gen at that . Since when was the examination of

bank statements stopped as part of standard audit practice in govt departments?. So

are the auditors saying that they didnt examine the bank statements of the

relevant Bank of Ghana accounts to know whether the payments had actually been made

before drawing any conclusions ? And did the Auditor General or his senior audit

supervisors not review work done on these collosal

amounts before subjecting them to the public domain. This is inexcusable and for

causing such huge embarrssment to the nation, and more importantly to avert

future national public audit blunders such as the current case, the Auditor

General must be fired. There should be no two ways about it.

Now back to the Woyome scandal. From govt circles, it is now clear that upwards

of 51m was paid to Woyomi so far because apart fom the 17m ( that the auditors want

us to believe was paid in 2010) the dept information minister Okudjeto Ablakwa has

confirmed an additional 34m was paid in 2011 which still makes it yet the most

'expensive" financial scandal to hit the country and in the wake of the Attorney

General and Minister for justice,Mr Martin Amidu"s recent scandalising revelations

against the NDC, President Mills and his NDC govt have a lot to answer to Ghanaians.

Dr Ephraim Tetteh

Anti corruption crusader

Biscayne Bay, Miami

Columnist: Tetteh, Ephraim