Pressure group, Occupy Ghana, is still pushing to get the Auditor General to produce proof that it has retrieved GH¢2.2 billion as disallowances between 2017 and 2020.
In its most recent request to the Auditor General, the group repeated its position to trigger procedures that will require the office to divulge the information through the Right to Information Commission.
It stated, “we write to repeat our request and to notify you that we will escalate this request to the Right to Information Commission, if we do not receive a copy of the promised report from you within seven days of the date of this letter.”
From 2017 and 2020, the Auditor-General’s report contained disallowances that were recovered for more than GH¢2.2 billion.
The sum exceeded the Auditor-General’s anticipated disallowances of GH¢4 billion.
It was retrieved after the Audit Service had investigated expenditure irregularities in pre-university institutions, technical universities, public boards, ministries, departments, and agencies as well as the District Assemblies Common Fund.
The money was also recovered by uncovering seven irregularities that the Auditor General later found to be false in the areas of cash usage, contracts, indebtedness (loans and advances), payrolls, leases, stores (procurement), and taxes.
GH¢1.6 billion of the total came from tax fraud, GH¢420.31 million from advances and loans, and GH¢131.07 million from cash fraud.
The remaining funds, totalling GH13.60 million, came from contracts, payrolls, rent and stores/procurement.
But OccupyGhana says its push for evidence is being curtailed by the refusal of the Auditor-General to provide the needed information.
“On 11 January 2023, we wrote to you (our ref: OG/2023/001) to inquire whether you had finalised your report and request that a copy of the report be made available to us. You have not responded to that letter”, it said.
Below is the full statement
7 March 2023
P O Box M 96
RE: AUDITOR-GENERAL RETRIEVES GHȻ2.2BN – REPRESENTS DISALLOWANCES FROM 2017 TO 2020
On 30 September 2022 we wrote to you (our ref: OG/2022/037), demanding evidence backing the claim that you had issued disallowances and made recoveries in the amount stated in the heading to this letter.
You responded by a letter signed by one Ali Mohammed Zakaria (DAG/FAHRD) and dated 7 October 2022 (your ref: DAG/F&A/FIN/22.10/001), claiming that you had drafted a report on the recoveries, you were finalising it for Parliament, and ‘immediately the report is finalised a copy will be made available’ to us.
On 11 January 2023, we wrote to you (our ref: OG/2023/001) to inquire whether you had finalised your report and requesting that a copy of the report be made available to us. You have not responded to that letter.
We write to repeat our request and to notify you that we will escalate this request to the Right to Information Commission if we do not receive a copy of the promised report from you within seven days of the date of this letter.
Yours in the service of God and Country
cc. Ali Mohammed Zakaria, DAG/FAHRD
Auditor-General’s Department, Accra