Pressure group Occupy Ghana has tasked the Auditor General to investigate the unauthorised expenditure on luxury vehicles by the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum and surcharge those found to be culpable.
An audit report presented to Parliament revealed the Ministry spent about 1.7 million dollars on 38 luxurious vehicles as part of a Multi-Donor Budgetary Support, adding that they were unbudgeted for.
Sources at the Ministry have said the purchase of the vehicles, was approved by Parliament in 2008 as part of a 350 million dollar US Exim bank facility meant for extending electricity to 1,200 communities.
The Ministry has however; failed to support its claim which is contrary to the Auditor General’s report that Parliament approved the purchase of the vehicles.
Lawyer and member of the group, Ace Ankomah said the ministry must come out with evidence of Parliament’s approval of the purchase of the luxury vehicles.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show, the lawyer tasked the Auditor General to rule out the expenditure because “as long as the expenditure is unauthorised, it is illegal…it has not come out of government’s chest properly and the laws prevent these things from happening.”
“The constitution we voted in place says that you cannot spend our money unless it has been properly and duly approved by parliament. Where is the approval…The Auditor General has not found the approval and if the Ministry has it anywhere else, they should show to us a line item which permits the purchase of the vehicles”, he continued.
He said the situation is an opportunity for the Auditor General to investigate the purchases and surcharge officials involved in the process and that it was a blatant breach of the constitution.
They should be made to pay from their personal accounts, he added.
It came to light yesterday that the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum spent close to $2 million on the purchase of 38 vehicles when there was no budgetary provision authorising the purchases.
The vehicles were bought from money meant for extending electricity to 1,200 communities under the Multi-Donor Budgetary Support Programme between 2010 and 2012.
The Ministry also bought two heavy duty photocopiers for $33,226.40, four desktop computers with accessories for $10,522.28, and three laptop computers with accessories for $8,008.71
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