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Use handing-over notes to protect state assets - Ministers told

Mr David Yaro, the Administrator-General, has tasked the would-be Ministers of State to peruse their predecessors’ handing-over notes so as to protect State assets and to perform their duties effectively.

He said should they find any state asset unaccountable for or missing, their predecessors should be held accountable.

That was why, he explained, the respective ministers were made to individually sign their handing-over notes, while their chief directors, who were the reporting officers, served as witnesses.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency, in an interview, on Thursday, Mr Yaro said: “Indeed, the new Ministers must consider the notes as their Bibles or Qur’ans for their work because they would guide them to ascertain whether all the assets of their Ministries are intact or not.

“In the handing-over notes, we have also incorporated the activities the new Minister should undertake in the first 30 days, 60 and 90 days on assumption of office, and although they can introduce their own novelties and approaches the guide would help them to settle down more quickly.”

The handing over notes cover assets and liabilities, including human resource, bungalows and other buildings, vehicles, technological and logistical assets, contractual agreements, projects, programmes and the bills being drafted to become laws.

The Administrator-General said with the contractual agreements, projects and programmes, information had been provided on their nature and status-be they local or international- their duration, the stakeholders involved, and others.

He said his Office would continually take inventory of all State assets to ensure that national revenue was not lost because of corruption or negligence and urged the public to consider things procured with State coffers as their collective property and protect them.

He, therefore, advised individuals and media organisations that may have information about the whereabouts of any missing state vehicle or any other property to immediately inform the authorities concerned for prompt action.

Mr Yaro said when he assumed office, he updated the template for taking inventory by incorporating in the handing over notes, columns for reporting the assets and liabilities of the various Ministries, which had made it much easier to build the data.

Additionally, he brought on board a Quality Assurance Team, which comprised representatives of the Office of the President, Public Services Commission, Head of Civil Service and his office to evaluate the information provided by the Ministries.

He said though his office did not have the mandate to alter the information provided they raised the necessary queries for the loopholes to be addressed.

He said the re-registration of state vehicle policy had made it easier to identify vehicles from the various state institutions, adding that, each vehicle had been provided with special codes on the number plates in addition to their regular numbers.

Therefore, he said, the public could report any vehicle they would find in private or unauthorised hands by those numbers and they would easily be traced to the organisations that owned them.

He, therefore, advised any Ministry, Department or Agency that had not re-registered their vehicles to do so in their own interest.

Mr Yaro said the human resource, financial and logistical constraints of his office did not enable him to cross-check every information provided, but he was relying on the integrity of the stakeholders as a measure of accuracy.

“For instance, we could have gone to the Peduase Lodge to verify the information provided in the inventory but we couldn’t do so for lack of logistics, but we are hopeful that we will be resourced to do our jobs to the best of our ability,” he explained.

Until January this year, the office lacked vehicles and the few officers had to rely on commercial motor bikes (okada) to do their rounds.

The Presidential (Transition) Act, 845, promulgated in 2012, mandates the Administrator General to take inventory of State assets and liabilities and hand them over to the Office of the President.

It also establishes arrangements for political transfer of administration from an outgoing democratically-elected president and provides for other related matters.

Source: GNA

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