The audit was conducted in accordance with international standards and best practices – Auditor-General

Mr Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu, Auditor-General

The Auditor-General, Mr Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu, has said that the 2021 Audit Report which has captured some Justices in Ghana to have engaged in ‘unlawful’ purchase of vehicles, was conducted in accordance with International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions and best practices.

The report, he said, contains significant issues and matters in accordance with Section 20 of the Audit Service Act, 2000 (Act 584).

“We have in accordance with Article 187(2) of the 1992 Constitution conducted the audit of the accounts of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for the financial year ended 31 December 2021 and consequently, present the results herewith. The report contains significant issues and matters in accordance with Section 20 of the Audit Service Act, 2000 (Act 584), that we wish to bring to the attention of Parliament.

“The audit was conducted in accordance with International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions and best practices, noting that the public financial management system of Ghana is underpinned by relevant legislative and administrative guidelines such as the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921), the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663) as amended, the Audit Service Act, 2000 (Act 584), the Public Financial Management Regulations, 2019 (L.I. 2378) and the Accounting Instructions of Departments and Agencies approved by the Controller and Accountant-General in consultation with the
Auditor-General,”  he said in the Executive Summary of the report.

Following this report, some persons including former Member of Parliament for Tema East, Daniel Titus-Glover questioned whether the Justices who were captured were given the opportunity to respond to the findings against them prior to the release of the report.

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In the view of Mr Titus-Glover, the Justices did no wrong because it was an offer that was extended to them which they accepted.

The 2021 report noted that between 2016 and 2021, the Judicial Service granted loans to 99 officers totalling GH¢303,709.94 and recovered a total amount of GH¢145,006.58 leaving an outstanding amount of GH¢158,703.36 as at 31 December 2021. 728.

“We recommended that the Judicial Secretary should liaise with the Controller and Accountant General to have the loans deducted from the salaries of the staff involved. Auction of official vehicles without authority – GH¢1,023,507.00 729,” it said.

Regulation 158 of Public Financial Management Regulations, 2019 (L.I. 2378) states that, the Principal Spending Officer of a covered entity shall obtain the prior written approval of the Minister for the transfer, exchange, sale, donation, contribution-in-kind, trust and any other disposal of any vehicles of the covered entity.

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Also, Regulation 158 states that, any disposal, lease and other action referred to in Sub-regulation 1 that is made without the written approval of the Minister, is void. 730.

“Our examination of records of the Transport Unit for 2021 revealed that 19 official vehicles were auctioned by the Service for GH¢1,023,507.96 without approval from the Minister of Finance.”

“In the absence of approval from the Minister for Finance, we recommended that the auction should be nullified, and the vehicles recovered,” the report said.

Speaking on this matter on TV3’s New Day show with Johnnie Hughes on Wednesday August 31, Mr Titus-Glover said “The judges have not done anything wrong.”

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“The Auditor General must tell us, was there any communication between the justices and those who matters? Let us not conclude that the judges are corrupt,” he added.

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana