SPECIAL AUDIT REPORT FORWARDED TO ATTORNEY GENERAL
8/20/2011 2:07:58 PM -
[Saturday August 20, 2011] Government says circumstances under which a special audit report on the accounts of the then Ministry of Information and National Orientation from 1st January 2007 to 31st December 2008 which did not receive attention at the recent hearings of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament has been resolved.
A statement signed by Deputy Minister of Information, Mr. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa said government found out that it was the view of the Auditor General that such special audit reports be acted upon by the Executive branch which commissioned it hence his department did not make a copy of the special audit available to the Legislature.
The statement said the Chief of Staff has subsequently forwarded the audit report to the Attorney General for advice and further action.
It will be recalled that a special audit into the accounts of the Ministry of Information and National Orientation conducted by the Auditor General for the period 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2008 has been a subject of great interest with many expecting that it will be considered at the recent hearings of the Public Account Committee of Parliament.
Some of the major highlights in the audit report are the Auditor General's revelation in paragraph 49 'As stated earlier on, one of the former Ministers of the Ministry - Hon. Stephen Asamoah-Boateng engaged the services of certain individuals and teams to carry out media-related services for Government under the Communication Strategy Implementation Programme. The names of the teams, as gathered from the Ministry's records, were as follows:
i) Media Executives
ii) Editors Forum
iii) Media Monitoring
iv) Matters Arising
viii) Rapid Response
ix) First Responders
A total of 425, 938 Ghana Cedis was spent on these teams. This expenditure included allowances and travel expenses paid to people whose identities were not disclosed.' The Auditor General further states in paragraph 53 that 'we expected Hon. Stephen Asamoah-Boateng and his deputy Hon. Frank Agyekum as Chief Spending Officers to have known that payments made from the Consolidated Fund are governed by laws, regulations and other administrative instructions. We therefore consider their approval of various payments to these teams and individuals as reckless and a wasteful use of state resources.'
Other findings were what the Auditor General described as inappropriate withdrawals from the Tema Oil Refinery Levy Account to fund certain unnamed journalists and individuals to do the bidding of the then government.
The statement concluded that government would not shield wrongdoers neither would it aid or abet in any way by preventing audits and other investigations from going through due process and coming to a logical conclusion.
Hon. Samuel OKUDZETO ABLAKWA
DEPUTY MINISTER FOR INFORMATION