Pressure Group OccupyGhana and the Audit Service will, on Friday, 14 June 2019, organise its first-ever lecture at the British Council, Accra, on the theme: “From Surcharging to Safeguarding: Next Steps in the Fight to Protect the Public Purse.”
The speakers will include Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, the Auditor General, Mr Daniel Domelevo, and private legal practitioner Ace Ankomah.
OG, in a statement, said it hoped the lecture will help to explore ideas that will help Ghana protect its wealth, encourage a fairer and more honest interaction from all and inculcate ethical practices in dealing with the government.
Explaining the rationale behind the lecture, OG said: “For us at OccupyGhana®, one of the achievements of which we are most proud is getting the Auditor-General to recognise the power inherent in his office - the ability to disallow illegal expenditure and losses to the government, and then to surcharge those who are responsible for the expenditure and losses. The Supreme Court judgment has given the Auditor-General a much-needed impetus to chase after monies stolen from the public purse and to recover those monies from the perpetrators.
“Driven primarily by the wish to see Ghana on a better path, a legal battle commenced with a 12th November 2014 letter to the then Auditor-General and culminated with the seminal judgment by the Supreme Court on 14th June 2017. The judgment upheld our position that the Auditor-General should be compelled to exercise the power to disallow, surcharge and recover public monies.
“By the last Auditor-General report from 30th November 2018, the exercise of this power to disallow since the judgment and the installation of this present Auditor-General in 2016 has saved Ghana the net total of GHS 5,445,676,134.53 (5.4 billion Ghana Cedis) – monies that some government officials fraudulently claimed was owed on various government contracts, but which had been already paid. Further, through his surcharging and recovery efforts, the Auditor-General has retrieved GHS 67,137,517.86 (67 million Ghana Cedis). There are currently further outstanding surcharges in excess of half a billion Ghana Cedis.
“It is based on these successes that the Audit Service and OccupyGhana jointly present the first-ever ‘Anniversary Lectures’. These lectures, which we hope will become an annual event, will seek to explore the issues of safeguarding the public purse.
“We hope with these lectures to explore ideas that will help Ghana protect its wealth, encourage a fairer and more honest interaction from all and inculcate ethical practices in dealings with the government.”