A 17-member team has been set up by the Auditor-General to retrieve all state funds which have been misappropriated by individuals and public and former government officials.
The team, chaired by the Auditor-General, Mr Daniel Yaw Domelevo, is made up of lawyers, accountants and auditors and is mandated to trace all persons who have been cited in the Auditor-General’s reports for having misappropriated state funds.
Mr Domelevo made this known in an interview with the Daily Graphic after a press conference organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants Ghana (ICAG) in Accra yesterday.
The press conference was meant to brief the media on the 2017 ICAG Week celebration which will take place in Ho in the Volta Region.
Mr Domelevo also indicated that the team had been taken through various training programmes by the Judiciary to become abreast of the necessary judicial processes.
Last Friday, a group of anti-corruption campaigners thronged the streets of Accra to demonstrate against the failure of successive governments to retrieve stolen funds from former public office holders.
They called for investigations and the prosecution of persons alleged to have been involved in corrupt acts cited in, especially, the Auditor-General’s reports.
The leader of the demonstrators, Captain Smart, a presenter on Adom FM, stated that out of Ghana’s debt of GH¢127 billion, GH¢112 billion was in the pockets and hands of some corrupt individuals and that money needed to be retrieved.
Mr Domelevo lauded the action of the demonstrators, noting that their concerns were legitimate because they were in tandem with the 1992 Constitution.
Article 187 (7) (b) of the Constitution, for instance, states that the Auditor-General “may disallow any item of expenditure which is contrary to law and surcharge”.
“We have begun looking into our books and are working to ensure that we retrieve every pesewa owed the state by officials who misappropriated funds.
“Some members of the team have also begun verifying whether all persons cited in the Auditor-General’s reports for owing the state have paid accordingly,” he explained.
Earlier in his address at the press conference, the President of the ICAG, Mr Christian Sottie, had expressed regret over the state of scandals involving accountants which continued to occur in the corporate world.
He, however, noted that in most instances, such accountants were found not to be members of the institute and that they lacked the requisite skills to be able to manage funds effectively.
Mr Sottie emphasised that the institute would, under no circumstance, shield any member who was found involved in any scandal and warned members to work with diligence at all times.
He added that by July 2017, the ICAG would be running a college, which would be separated from the secretariat, to train students and members.
Mrs Abigail Armah (right) conducting Mr Christian Sottie (2nd left), the President of the ICAG, and Mrs Rebecca Lomo (left), Council Member of the ICAG, round the exhibition. Picture: Maxwell Ocloo