The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame has protested what he says is a premature publication of the report of the special audit on the Government’s COVID-19 transactions by the Auditor-General.
He has consequently asked the Auditor-General to unpublish the report, pending the fulfilment of constitutional injunctions leading to the ultimate publication, including submitting the report first to Parliament.
Publishing the report ahead of its scrutiny by Parliament or a committee of it, is unconstitutional, the A-G points out.
In a letter dated February 7, 2023 for the attention of the Auditor-General, Mr. Johnson Akuamoah-Asiedu, the Attorney-General referenced “various discussions between your good self and me regarding the effective implementation of reports of the Auditor-General on audits into the public accounts of Ghana, particularly with regard to the issuance of disallowances and surcharges,” and pointed out that “The matters discussed have become more pertinent in view of the intense controversy generated by the publication of the report on the special audit of Government of Ghana Covid-19 transactions for the period March 2020 to June 2022 on the website of the Ghana Audit Service.”
According to the Attorney-General, while Article 187(5) of the Constitution mandates the Auditor-General to submit his report to Parliament and in that report, draw attention to any irregularities in the accounts audited, Section 16 of the Audit Service Act, 2000 (Act 584) clearly indicates that reports on special audits and reviews, as the one conducted in respect of the COVID-19 transactions, are subject to the requirement for the Auditor-General to submit the reports to Parliament.