Issues of irregularities in the Auditor-General’s Report have witnessed progressive decline in the last couple of years. This notwithstanding, breaches in procurement, contract, payroll, cash and statutory deduction still rank high. Director-General of the Internal Audit Agency, Dr. Eric Oduro Osae, who disclosed this on the Uniiq Breakfast Drive said the trend is worrying and called for concerted efforts to stem the tide due to the adverse effects on national development.
”Irregularity levels are dropping or they are reducing. From 2018, it was GHC 29 million, 2019, it came to GHC 19.5 million and 2020, it was GHC12.8 million. GHC12.8 million is a lot of money; looking at the money we need in this country; we should not have allowed that to happen. When you look at the composition, cash irregularities still run high. Cash irregularity constitutes over 8%, with GHC 11.2 million procurement irregularities just under One million, five hundred thousand Ghana Cedis; contract irregularities, four hundred thousand; pay-roll irregularities, two hundred thousand. What this means is that, there is something fundamentally wrong with the system when it comes to cash irregularities and this is where citizens will have to open their eyes”, he opined.
For her part, Executive Secretary of the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition, Beauty Emefa Nartey, called for punitive measures against culprits. This she said will serve as a deterrent to others.
”We want it to go beyond just being an effort so that next year when we are here talking, we will talk about the punishment we are meting out, the sanctions that were implemented to ensure that there is that kind of minimal infractions that would be documented. We have no choice than to protect the public first because where Ghana is heading, we can only protect what we have and be able to assure development otherwise, we are heading in the wrong direction. I think going to prison is even to the extreme because when you jail somebody, they also come at an additional cost; so just putting people in prison does not help. It is about recovering the funds. If somebody has a property, we could sell off that property and take what belongs to the State”, according to the Executive Secretary of the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition, Beauty Emefa Nartey.
This initiative is being undertaken by GACC with support from Hewlett Foundation.