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Govt challenges Auditor General’s report

Source Graphic Online

The Ministry of Finance has challenged the Auditor General’s audit finding to the effect that payment of some US$1million to the firm, Kroll and Associate was effected without evidence of work.

The said finding was published in the Auditor General’s report on the account of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for the period ending December 31, 2018.

According to the Ministry, it will later this week serve notice to the Auditor General, that it intends to challenge the finding.

At a media briefing in Accra Wednesday, the Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah noted that, “Indeed, the report itself concedes that information on this transaction was requested from the Ministry of Finance (MoF) by the Auditors.”

“The MOF, in turn, reported that it will have to get details from the office of the Senior Minister which was the appropriate office that executed the transaction,” he said.

However, prior to furnishing the Audit team with a report, the Audit was completed and a report published to the effect that there was no evidence of work for the payment of the US$1 million, the Minister added.

He said the Auditor-General is further reported to have gone public and announced this finding to the mass media as though it is a concluded non-negotiable fact.

The Constitutional practice is that the report is submitted to Parliament and affected MDAs invited to respond, he said.

He insisted that the Ministry of Finance believes that at least if this constitutional path was followed, it would have had the opportunity to respond at the next legally appropriate forum and explain as follows:

  • I. The transaction is properly backed by an agreement that took effect on 13th February, 2017 pursuant to a letter of intent of 2nd, February signed by the Government of Ghana. This letter of intent was further included in an agreement dated 29th, September 2019.
  • II. Additionally, the office of the Senior Minister responded to the MOF query to the effect that since September 2017, Kroll has been working with the GOG to undertake extensive and thorough investigations of allegations of wrongdoing, and providing evidence of assets recoveries for possible prosecution.
    The finding to the effect that there is no contract or that there is irregularity in documentation that no work has been done is wrong.

Mr Oppong Nkrumah added that, “ordinarily, MoF [Ministry of Finance] would have wanted to go to parliament and explain itself. However, since Auditor General has gone public, MoF is obliged to also explain to the public even before parliament to cure that wrong impression.

“We encourage all to follow due process. The transaction is backed by a well-chronicled agreement. There is evidence of work done. There are no irregularities in documentation. The MoF will address all these properly with the necessary documents,” he added.

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