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Auditor General disallows ¢5.4 billion in overpaid contracts; recommends prosecutions

Auditor General disallows ¢5.4 billion in overpaid contracts; recommends prosecutions

The Auditor General has uncovered a startling ¢5.4 billion wrongfully paid to contractors and other service providers by officials at the various ministries between 2014-2017.

Daniel Dormelevo has since disallowed such payment and has recommended prosecutions of the officials who presided over such payments.

The discovery and recommendations follow a 2016 audit of the finances of the various ministries, department and agencies.

Section 16 of the Audit Service Act gives power to the Auditor General to conduct special audit of the ministries and submit a report to Parliament.

Speaking to Joy News’ Evans Mensah and Emefa Apawu on Newsnite Wednesday, Daniel Dormelevo said he was intrigued by the liabilities mentioned last year in respect of indebtedness of the ministries and decided to activate Section 16 of Act by conducting an audit.

The findings from the interim audit report issued last year are jaw breaking.

According to the Auditor General the initial amount disallowed after the interim audit was a whopping ¢5.7 billion.

“By disallowing it means when we interrogated the liabilities we did not get any supporting document to justify it. The ministry could not provide the document or in most of the cases the documents are there but we realized the monies have been paid so it is no more a liability or the amount which has been stated by the ministry we could not verify all..” he said.

He added in some of the cases contractors came demanding for payment for services which have already been paid for.

“We found out some of the contractors were overpaid,” he stated, adding the interim report was published last year and alerted the ministries involved to respond.

Per the law, the ministries have up to 30 days to respond to the queries from the Auditor General but not all of them took advantage of that.

According to Domelevo, after the response to the query the sum disallowed reduced from ¢5.7 billion to ¢5.4 billion.

He said he has concluded the final report and submitted the findings to Parliament.

Even though he did not mention names of the officials involved in the overpayment, he was unequivocal that prosecutions of the unnamed officials have been recommended

“I don’t have prosecutorial powers so it is now in the court of the Attorney General, CHRAJ, EOCO or any of the prosecutorial powers,” he said.

His findings notwithstanding, a former Roads Minister under whose tenure many of the payments were made has challenged the claims.

Inusah Fuseini argued it impossible for a contractor to be paid twice for the same work done because documentations are well tracked.

But the Auditor General said the concerns of the ex-minister are not based on facts.

“I don’t want to debate him but he should bring his evidence against our evidence. In auditing, we talk about facts and not people’s opinion. So he can express whatever opinion he has. I am talking about facts. If he has contrary evidence he should bring it,” he said.

 

Source: myjoyonline.com

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