The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has told the Attorney-General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, to desist from what it described as his interference in the work of the Auditor-General.
In a statement dated February, 10 2023, the NDC said a letter from Mr Dame to the Auditor-General criticising the publication of the Auditor-General’s report on the COVID-19 expenditure was an attack on the independence of the Auditor-General.
The NDC said the letter was an interference and intrusion into the mandate of the Auditor-General “by someone who ought to know better.”
“We need not remind the Attorney-General that Article 187(7) (a) of the 1992 Constitution guarantees the independence of the Auditor-General. It explicitly provides that the Auditor-General in the performance of his duties is not subject to the direction or control of any person or authority,” it explained
The statement by the NDC was signed by the National Communication Officer of the party, Sammy Gyamfi.
Mr Dame had described as unconstitutional the publication of the Auditor-General’s report on the COVID-19 expenditure before Parliament completes considering it.
In a letter to Johnson Akuamoah-Asiedu, the Auditor-General, Mr Dame said the publication of the report on the website of the Audit Service was “premature and unconstitutional.”
According to the Attorney General, per Article 187(5) of the 1992 Constitution, the Auditor-General was to submit his report to Parliament and in that report, draw attention to any irregularities in the accounts audited.
He added that Article 187(6) of the Constitution requires that Parliament must then debate the report of the Auditor-General and appoint, where necessary and in the public interest, a committee to deal with any matters arising from it.
According to the Attorney General, it was only after satisfying the constitutional requirement of submitting the Auditor-General’s report to Parliament, the subsequent debate by Parliament thereon and the conclusion of work by the appropriate committee of Parliament, that the report of the Auditor-General would be considered final and relevant action be taken thereon.
“Consequently, I advise a withdrawal of the report on the Government COVID-19 transactions from your website before same has been debated by Parliament and considered by the appropriate committee of Parliament,” he added.
The NDC, however, explained that the Audit Service Act, 2000 (Act 584) offered power and responsibility to the Auditor-General to carry out special audits, which he constitutionally exercised by probing the COVID-19 expenditure of the government.
“It is worthy of note that Section 23 of the Audit Service Act, 2000 (Act 584) mandates the Auditor-General to publish reports of audits as soon as the reports have been presented to the Speaker of Parliament,” It added.
Source: daily graphic