Thursday , 9 February 2023

‘There must be consequences’ – Domelevo on Covid-19 expenditure infractions

Former Auditor General, Daniel Yao Domelevo, has called for more severe sanctions against people involved in the Covid-19 expenditure infractions as contained in the Auditor-General’s report.

According to him, the norm where the infractions are merely reported in the Audit report with little to no consequence for the culprits needs to change immediately.

Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, Daniel Domelevo in a three-point advice to the Auditor-General urged him to liaise with the Office of the Special Prosecutor and the Attorney General to bring all the culprits to book.

“Well I think a lot of things can happen, and I’m expecting them to happen. First and foremost, I expect the Auditor-General to comply with Article 187 clause 7(B) which requires him that anytime he comes across expenditures that are contrary to law he should disallow and surcharge.  So I expect the Auditor General to do that.

“Two, the report goes to parliament. And I expect that the parliament should not delay on the report, they should refer it quickly to the Public Accounts Committee, and the Public Accounts Committee should call the various audited institutions to book to ensure that the right thing is done.

“I also think that the issues that border on criminality the Auditor General should liaise with the Office of the Special Prosecutor so that we can take those people on immediately. It beats my mind in a country whereby when we meet petty thieves, people who steal bananas, they steal goats etc. we sentence them to several years and if we meet public officers who steal money belonging to all of us as a result of which our systems are not working, hospitals are not functioning, schools are not good, our roads are bad, all that we do is just to report it in the Audit report, at best, we will collect the money and they’re free.

“So I think there must be consequences and the Attorney General may also like to step in here to help prosecute some of these people if his office has the space to do this,” he said.

The Auditor-General’s report revealed some infractions in government’s expenditure for Covid-19 from March 2020 to June 2022.       

Some of the infractions that were uncovered include; paying a total of US$607,419.02 out of US$4,049,460.12 for the purchase of 26 ambulances that were never delivered, paying unapproved GH ₵151,500 by the Information Ministry to its own staff as Covid insurance, and paying for $80 million worth of vaccines by the government that was never delivered, amongst others.

Meanwhile, the Health Committee in Parliament has set February 7 as the date to commence a public hearing on the Covid-19 expenditure by government.

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