Sunday, October 17, 2021

COVID-19 disruption caused audit report delay – Audit Service

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The Audit Service has attributed delays in sending audited reports to Parliament to the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, which disrupted its schedule, and denied accusations by the minority in Parliament that the delays were meant to cover up malfeasance by the government.

According to a press statement from the service, the Coronavirus pandemic disrupted its plans, with some of its staff contracting the virus, hence the delay in meeting the statutory deadline of June 30, 2020, to send the reports to the legislature.

The service said the delay could not be blamed on the President directing the Auditor-General to proceed on leave, as asserted by the minority.

Furthermore, it said the Acting Auditor-General, Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu, had earlier submitted the audit report on the foreign exchange receipts and payments of the Bank of Ghana for the 2019 financial year, and had in the cover letter informed parliament that reports covering other accounts would delay because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its activities.

The Auditor-General, Daniel Yaw Domelevo, was in June directed by President Akufo-Addo to proceed on a 123-day accumulated leave, which was later extended to 167 days after he had written a letter to the president asking him to reconsider his directive.

His deputy, Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu, has since been elevated to act in Mr. Domelevo’s stead.

The minority’s accusation against the Audit Service described it as “curious, yet ironic, that the reports of the Auditor-General fell into arrears following the directive by the president to the Auditor-General to proceed on leave”, adding that, “it is the view of the minority that the abrupt and ill-advised decision of the President, in directing the Auditor-General to proceed on his accumulated leave, was intended to gag the A-G in drawing attention to the many anomalies perpetrated by government.”

Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu had further called on the President to direct the Acting Auditor-General to furnish Parliament with the reports.

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