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Collaboration necessary in tackling corruption - Godfred Dame

BY: Chris Nunoo
Godfred Dame, Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, addressing the conference in Accra.  Picture: SAMUEL TEI ADANO
Godfred Dame, Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, addressing the conference in Accra. Picture: SAMUEL TEI ADANO

The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, has called for increased collaboration between his outfit and the Auditor-General’s Office in the fight against corruption.

He said that was necessary because the two institutions were at the forefront of ensuring public accountability, probity, the rule of law and also rooting out corrupt practices in the country.

“It is imperative to indicate that the mandate to issue disallowance and surcharge does not end with the issuance of a report.

“Undoubtedly, there must first be an audit by the Auditor-General into public accounts before there can be any disallowance and surcharge,” the Attorney-General said.

He added that his outfit had set up a special team to coordinate and follow up on all relevant information requested from the Auditor-General’s Office.

Mr Dame made the call at the second annual district auditors conference in Accra yesterday, on the theme: “Disallowance and surcharge — the role of the district auditor.”

Technology

The Attorney-General further stressed the importance of technology in service delivery, adding that “technology has indeed forced the world to change the way it lives and carries out business.

“I believe the Audit Service has woken up to this reality and is prepared to adapt in response to the ‘disruption’ forced upon us by technology,” he said.

Mr Dame commended the service for carrying out an audit implementation system, a digitisation platform which he said would drastically reduce human intervention in auditing and implementation.

Interventions

The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, mentioned some of the interventions by the government to stem corruption to include the Witness Protection Act which was passed in 2018, the establishment of the Office of the Special Prosecutor in 2018, the Right to Information in 2019, and the Companies Act 2019, which he said provided a framework for enacting a beneficial ownership register.

“The government has also increased the budgetary allocation to all accountability institutions of state, including Parliament, the Judiciary, CHRAJ, EOCO and the Office of the Attorney-General and Ministry of Justice, the Auditor-General’s Office, the Office of the Special Prosecutor and the Ghana Police Service,” Dr Bawumia said.

Logistics

According to the Vice-President, deficits in logistics and personnel of law enforcement agencies, especially the Ghana Police Service and other accountability institutions, were being addressed.

He said one of the functions of the Auditor-General in combating financial malpractice was the disallowance of any item of expenditure which was contrary to law and surcharging the amount of any expenditure disallowed.

Dr Bawumia urged the participants to further come up with relevant solutions to issues such as disallowance and surcharge.

The Vice-President also advised them to help address factors that contributed to Auditor-Generals over the years not being able to perform their functions effectively.