General News of Wednesday, 2 August 2017
The Auditor-General, Daniel Domelevo has revealed that ‘certificates of indebtedness to government’ have been issued and sanctions will be proffered against government officials and private individuals who have looted state resources.
The directive, according to him, is in exercising his legal mandate Under Article 187 Clause 7 (b) of the 1992 Constitution, to surcharge individuals found to have used public money unlawfully.
During a press briefing held in Accra, he announced that all state funds misappropriated by these individuals will be retrieved with interest at the lending rates of the Bank of Ghana.
“We assume that defaulters have taken public funds and we will use the lending rates of [the] Bank of Ghana to compute the interests.
“Collecting the money is not enough, some of them have criminality involved so the Attorney General will act on the court’s decision to punish them appropriately,” he emphasized.
The Auditor-General also stated that critical measures are being put in place to build a complete file on each case with concrete evidence such that defaulters will be unable to file an appeal.
‘’We took each case gradually and systematically to build a complete file.
“A file with all supporting documents or evidence was also built so when the person aggrieved files a case against us, we can present the evidence,” he stressed.
He went on further to note; “in order to prove the seriousness of work, 16 officials have been trained at the Judicial Training Institute on evidence gathering and forensic auditing in order to ‘track down’ debtors.
He however withheld information on persons found culpable, adding, the act will be performed after an annual report has been submitted to Parliament.
The decision came after the Supreme Court in June this year ordered the Auditor-General to recover all state funds which have been misappropriated by individuals.
The judgement by the seven-member panel said the order affected both public officials and private individuals found to have looted state coffers.