Vice President of IMANI Africa, Kofi Bentil, has revealed that it is a catastrophic failure if the Auditor-General does not perform crucial aspect of his work.
According to him, if the Auditor-General continue to refuse to surcharge and disallow as he is mandated to, the CSOs coalition will push for his dismissal from office and subsequent prosecution. He indicated that there will be other actions “coming down the line” if stakeholders don’t get the response that they are looking for.
“… It is a catastrophic failure if the Auditor-General does not perform that very crucial aspect of his work. And we have sufficiently made the point that because of the Occupy Ghana case, it is actually contempt of court if he doesn’t do that. And it is one of the things that we will later take on. We will take steps to cite him for contempt and we will push that.”Kofi Bentil
Mr Bentil noted that it is frustrating when citizens have to resort to dragging state officials to court to get them to perform duties they are handsomely paid to perform. He explained that the Auditor General’s failure to exercise his power to surcharge and disallow is a conscious decision he has taken and in essence will not be able to defend same should he be quizzed on it.
“Look, these people are taking good salary, they have good perks and they enjoy every facility of their office. We citizens have to get up and go to court to force you to do your simple job. And when it comes to doing your simple job, you refuse to do it.”Kofi Bentil
Auditor-General urged to make decision on surcharging
The Vice President of IMANI Africa highlighted that there are few things that are very important than he recovering money that people have stolen and it “cannot be an omission”. He emphasized the need for the Auditor-General to make a decision on the issue of surcharging and disallowance.
“It is a decision; he has decided not to do it. If he didn’t know it, now he knows it because his predecessor did it… If you say you’re afraid because Mr. Domelevo did it and because of that he lost his office, you don’t have any business sitting in that chair. So look, we’re sick and tired of having to deal with this thing cycle after cycle. I don’t know why people get into leadership positions and they lose their conscience.”Kofi Bentil
Mr Bentil revealed that in Ghana, governments pretend to give help to its citizens and then “we steal the money”, while the people end up being taxed for the same. He expressed disappointment over the country’s Auditor General who he described as “sitting there, he has even identified some of those people, he knows where they are, they’re walking around free, and he refuses” to deal with it
“Take any receipt you’re given when you go and buy anything today and look at the number of taxes on it, half of it is being stolen… Meanwhile he’s sitting there and his job says you should do it and he doesn’t do it. We’ve gone to the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court has given a strict clear order that says surcharge, disallow, go and retrieve the money, he refuses to do it.”Kofi Bentil