The Auditor-General, Daniel Yao Domelevo has expressed concern over the effectiveness of Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee in contributing to the fight against corruption in the country, ABC News can report.
According to him, there have been little or no positive outcomes from the Committee’s sittings as persons and institutions hauled before it for engaging in diverse financial irregularities are let off the hook.
Likening the Committee’s sittings to a TV show, he observed that persons who are implicated in the Auditor-General’s report, only suffer rebuke before the Committee with no severe sanctions against them to serve as a deterrent to others.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show, Mr. Domelevo underscored the need for the country to take matters of corruption seriously and adopt international best practices when implementing policies targeted at eliminating the canker.
“In some jurisdiction where they are serious, like Uganda and Rwanda, the Public Accounts Committee, when they are sitting, there’s a police officer seated there. When you are found culpable, from there you go and the investigation starts and a docket is raised and you are prosecuted.
“Ghana, it has become a TV show. People know they will go, the Committee will lash at them and at the end of the day, they will earn their monies and of course, they can spend it. So we may have to get a bit more serious over that,” he said.
The duty of the Public Accounts Committee is to examine the audited accounts showing the appropriation of the sums granted by Parliament to meet the public expenditure of the government as presented to the House by the Auditor-General of Ghana.
Currently, the Committee is chaired by Avedzi James Klutse, Member of Parliament for Ketu North and deputised by the Member of Parliament for Lambussie Constituency, Edward Kaale-Ewola.
There have been public concerns about the efficiency of the Public Account Committee in the discharge of its duties as some have criticised the ability of the Committee to crack the whip by offering stiffer sanctions against public officers found to have misconducted themselves in the discharge of their duties.
Some have also suggested that the Auditor-General should be given prosecutorial powers to directly prosecute perpetrators as the Attorney-General is perceived as not doing enough to take legal action against persons implicated in the Auditor General’s Report.
Meanwhile, Mr Domelevo disagrees with the proposal and argues that the Attorney-General should rather be taken on to effectively deliver on her mandate.
“Definitely the people should be prosecuted. But that is the mandate of the AG. You can’t just do something in the public service. The law must allow you. As much as we want people to be prosecuted, it must be done according to the law.
“I don’t agree with the recommendation that I should be given prosecutorial powers. Let’s take AG on to do her work. I’m doing my work so let her also do her work. There should be segregation of duties. Everyone should do his work,” he said.