Home Headlines NDC Orders Attorney General To Withdraw Letter To Auditor-General

NDC Orders Attorney General To Withdraw Letter To Auditor-General

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Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame
Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has asked the Attorney General to immediately withdraw a letter it wrote to the Auditor-General to stop the publication of the report on the Special Audit of COVID-19 expenditures of the Government.

Mr Godfred Dame, the Attorney General, in the said letter to the Auditor-General, Mr Johnson Akuamoah-Asiedu, argued that Article 187(5) of the Constitution mandated the Auditor-General to submit his report to Parliament and in that report, draw attention to any irregularities in the accounts audited which was often concurrently published with the submission.

The Attorney General added that, it was only after satisfying the constitutional requirement of submitting the Auditor-General’s report to Parliament, the subsequent debate by Parliament thereon, and the conclusion of work by the appropriate committee of Parliament, that the report might be considered final and relevant action might be taken thereon.

The NDC, in a press statement signed by Mr Sammy Gyamfi, the National Communication Officer, on Friday, condemned the letter describing it as an “ungodly interference and intrusion into the mandate of the Auditor-General by someone who ought to know better.”

“We need not remind the Attorney-General that Article 187(7)(a) of the 1992 Constitution guarantees the independence of the Auditor-General. It explicitly provides that, the Auditor-General in the performance of his duties, is not subject to the direction or control of any person or authority,” the statement added.

It also noted that the Audit Service Act, 2000 (Act 584) conferred power and responsibility on the Auditor-General to carry out special audits, as had been conducted into the COVID-19 expenditures of the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government.
Section 16 of Act 584 provides that: “The Auditor-General may in addition to the audit of public accounts, carry out in the public interest any necessary special audits or reviews and shall submit reports on the audits or review so undertaken to Parliament”.

The Statement explained that, worthy of note that, Section 23 of the Audit Service Act, 2000 (ACT 584) mandated the Auditor-General to publish reports of audits as soon as the reports had been presented to the Speaker of Parliament.
The NDC said, therefore, contrary to claims of the Attorney General, the publication of the Auditor-General’s Special Audit report on the COVID-19 expenditures of the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government was in strict conformity with the law.
“As a matter of fact, the Auditor-General was duty-bound to publish the said report, which is precisely what he has done,” it noted.

It added that: “Godfred Dame must understand, that the Auditor-General in the performance of his duties is not subject to his legal opinions or interpretation of the law. His contention that the Auditor-General has to wait for Parliament to enquire or debate audit reports he submits to the house before same is published is totally baseless and not borne out of the Constitution or any law in force in Ghana.”

“It must be emphasized that, the age-long practice of publication of audit reports by the Auditor General is a legal imperative and conforms with the principles of probity, transparency and accountability that underpin the 1992 Constitution. Indeed, it is through such publications that the good people of Ghana, in whom sovereignty resides, are able to appreciate discussions and debates on audit reports by their representatives in Parliament,” the statement explained.

The Party added that the Auditor-General deserved commendation for faithfully discharging his duties and not condemnation, adding that only a “corrupt government that had the penchant for whitewashing acts of thievery” would be worried about the publication of Audit Reports.

“We in the NDC are particularly worried by this latest brazen attack on the independence of the Auditor-General given the unlawful manner in which the former Auditor-General, Mr. Daniel Yao Domelovo was hounded out of office for exposing similar corrupt activities of the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government,” it said.

It added that: “We demand that the Attorney-General, Godfred Yeboah Dame immediately withdraws his unconstitutional and distasteful letter forthwith and cease from any further intrusion into the mandate of the Auditor-General. And we call on the Auditor-General to totally disregard the said letter of the Attorney General and treat it with utmost contempt as same is unconstitutional.”

It also called on Civil Society Organisations, the media, moral society and all well-meaning Ghanaians to condemn this assault on the independence of the Auditor-General by the Attorney General.

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