Auditor-General, Daniel Domelevo, has revealed that some 25 individuals identified as owing the state have settled their debts even before a Supreme Court ruling directing him to retrieve state funds is enforced.
Mr. Domelevo said he is committed to enforcing the Court’s directive to the letter, and warned against interference as he sets out to retrieve monies from persons cited to have misappropriated state funds.
“More than a month ago, we identified about 25 individuals we were going to call on, but when we went to [the Public Accounts Committee] to find out the current status, all of them have paid the money,” he said.
The Court last week Wednesday ordered the Auditor-General to issue disallowance and surcharges in respect of all state monies found to have been expended contrary to law.
Pressure group, Occupy Ghana, secured the judgment after three years of public advocacy and pleas to the Auditor-General’s office.
The Auditor-General also said on Saturday that he has started gathering the needed evidence to reinforce his powers of disallowance and surcharge.
He said he has to meticulously build a file which has evidence for each of the cases before proceeding.
“If I surcharge you and you don’t agree with me and we go to court, I cannot just pull out just my report to say this is the evidence to your embezzlement. I must show documents that you signed this and that vouchers for this payment, showing the invoice number and all,” he said.
He said he will not enforce his powers to surcharge just because an infraction was identified in the past and rectified, but instead, those cases that have credible documents to back his work.
“It’s continuous progress. As we go, if we identify those who have not paid the money or have not been able to provide documentary evidence to acquit the expenditure, that is the person we will surcharge,” he reiterated.
Every year, the Auditor-General makes serious findings of many instances of misapplication of colossal amounts by public office holders.
Sometimes the public officers make admissions before the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament but none is ever held accountable or punished.