The Minority Chief Whip and Member of Parliament for Asawase, Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak, has chastised the Board of Directors of the Audit Service for contracting a private firm to review the travel expenditure of its staff at the blind side of Parliament.
In a letter sighted by Citi News, a private firm, K&A Accounting Services, has been asked to audit foreign travels of staff of the Audit Service, including that of the Auditor General.
But in an interview on Eyewitness News, the Asawase MP said the move was unconstitutional.
“Follow the due process. If you think there is something that needs to be audited, draw Parliament's attention. We will definitely set up a committee to look for an auditor or audit firm to audit the Auditor-General. They cannot just go ahead to get private firms to audit them. It is unlawful.”
“Government cannot just appoint a private person to audit the audit service. That is illegal. The problem with this government is that they claim to uphold the rule of law but act contrary. They keep going after people,” he complained.
He further discouraged the management staff from co-operating with the auditors saying, “I encourage the audit staff not to comply with any questions that come from the auditors.”
‘K&A accounting firm lacks mandate’
The Audit Service Board had requested the Auditor-General and the Deputy Auditors-General to submit reports to the Board in 14 days of return after travelling outside for official duties, but the officials had failed to do so.
Subsequently, the Board appointed K&A Accounting Services to audit the foreign travels of the Management Staff from 2017 to 2020 and issue reports to the Board in accordance with the attached terms of reference, reports on foreign travels from 2017-2020 for the Auditor-General and the six Deputy Auditors-General.
But in a response to the Board, Auditor-General said the appointment of the accounting firm is a violation of Articles 187(15) of the constitution which provided that “the accounts of the office of the Auditor-General shall be audited and reported upon by an auditor appointed by parliament.