Surcharge officials whose negligence leads to judgement debts – Auditor-General


The Auditor-General, Mr Richard Q. Quartey is recommending that public office holders whose negligence leads to the award of debilitating judgement debts against the state should be surcharged.

He said the payment of judgement debts, some of which he believes are totally avoidable, was a drain on the national coffers.

The New Patriotic Party Member of Parliament for Assin North, Mr Kennedy Agyapong quoted Mr Quartey as making the recommendation in the 2011 Audit report.

The question of judgement debt has become a topical issue with the payment of GHS58 million as judgment debt to the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) financier, Mr Alfred Agbesi Woyome bringing the matter into sharp focus.

The 2010 audit report says over GHS600 million was paid to individuals and organization as judgement debt with the 2011 report indicating another GHS200 million was paid in judgement debts.

The Auditor-General believes the criminal negligence of some individuals holding public office is costing the nation and they must be punished.

Mr Agyapong, who was speaking on Okay FM, gave a litany of instances he said demonstrated clearly that the Mills administration was awarding, through the courts, very questionable judgement debts to some individuals.

The people of Ghana, he emphasized, must hold Deputy Attorney-General Ebo Barton-Odro in particular and the NDC government in general, for the whooping sums being lost to the nation. He repeated calls for Mr Barton-Odro’s dismissal, claiming the Deputy AG had become a conduit for criminal acts against the state.

Mr Kennedy claimed there were, under president Mills, massive corrupt practices, well documented at state institutions such as the Tema Oil Refinery, the Bulk Oil Storage and Transport company, the National Youth Employment Programme amongst others.

The loud Assin North MP, credited with first putting the overly discussed Woyome scandal on the front burner, promised to break every sinew to ensure that every single pesewa doled out to NDC partisans under the guise of judgement debts is returned to the state.

A Deputy General Secretary of the NDC, Mr Kofi Adams, who joined the discussions, said the allegations being leveled by Mr Kennedy were very serious and needed urgent response from the institutions involved.

He said government must also get its act to together to look into the issues.

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