PFM Network backs Auditor-General’s call for Prosecutorial Powers to Retrieve Funds for National Development

The Public Financial Management Network (PFM Network), a network of 49 CSOs across the country committed to responsible and efficient use, safeguard and transparency in public funds welcomes the report of the Auditor General as reported variously in the media.

The PFM Network finds the revelation of ¢5.4 billion disallowance not too shocking but an important step in excavating the deep seated leakages and wastage in public funds. The discovery and recommendations follow a 2016 audit of the finances of the various ministries, departments and agencies. If the timeline of work is drawn further back (from 2010 for e.g.), a lot more would have been revealed.

PFM Network supports the Auditor General’s decision to disallow such payments and the prosecution of the officials involved. We therefore are calling for collaboration with the Attorney-General and Minister of Finance to enforce the penalties contained under such willful acts as exemplified in the PFM Act:

Section 96 (1) of the Public Financial Management Act 2016 stipulates that a person commits an offence for (a) making an unauthorized commitment resulting in a financial obligation for the Government,

(c)  for any improper payment of public funds or payment of money that is not duly verified in line with existing procedures,

As a Network, we believe this is a fine opportunity to evoke the force of the PFM law. We are convinced that enforcing it can contribute to forestalling and reducing any intent of financial mismanagement. Deterrence is key in safeguarding public funds. We wish to state that the move by the Auditor General is one of the best things to happen in the Public Financial Management

processes in our state institutions. His outfit must be assisted in this (prosecute) as it could reduce the incidence of misappropriations in our institutions.

The retrieval and safeguard of the GHc5.4 billion can improve the livelihood of Ghanaians in several ways including the below extract.

Highlight of arrears of dormant/delayed programs

Facility/Programme Location Arrears Impact
Affordable Housing project Koforidua, Eastern Region ¢117 million 3,506 apartments
University of Ghana Medical Centre Legon, Accra $6 million 650 bed capacity
Volo digital Health Centre Volo, Volta Region ¢500,000 needed for accommodation 5,000 people
National Health Insurance Nation-wide ¢1.1million 10 million registered members

The aforementioned are but a few issues we want to highlight not to mention of the financial gaps in the Free SHS policy, Capitation Grant and even the Implementation of the One Village One Dam policy.

 We in the PFM Network believe the time to act and show commitment to the fight against corruption is now and the Auditor General with the support of the Minister of Finance can make this happen. Evoking the penalties for contravening the law and retrieving the monies is the way to go. The citizens need their monies back!!

Kojo Anane

Programs Manager

024 323 7191

 

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