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CW Report: How Airport Company, Ghana Post and Graphic managers sat on workers’ pensions and taxes

The Auditor-General has indicted some public companies and corporations for mishandling workers funds as well as taxes they should have paid to the Ghana Revenue Authority. 

The Auditor-General cites the Ghana Post Company Limited, Ghana Airport Company, Graphic Communications Group Limited, The New Times Corporation (popularly called Ghanaian Times) and the Architectural and Engineering Services Limited (AESL) for malpractices including failing to pay taxes, pensions and insurance deductions to respective institutions and funds.

It must be stated that many of the findings relate to occurrences in 2017, 2018 and 2019 financial years even though the details are captured in the Report of the Auditor General on the Public Accounts of Ghana – Public Boards, Corporations and Other Statutory Institutions for the year ended 31 December 2020.

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The Auditor-General reveals that the total financial irregularities found in this round of audit at public boards, corporations and other institutions stood at GH¢12,856,172,626 as at the end of December 2020.

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MDAs financial infractions decline by 32% in 2020

Financial infractions by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) declined by 32 percent in 2020, compared to the previous year, the Director General of the Internal Audit Agency, Dr. Eric Oduro Osae has revealed.

Speaking at the 2021 Annual Conference of Internal Auditors, with a focus on Sustaining Internal Controls; Risk Management and Business Continuity in the Public Sector, the Director General said that the Internal Audit Agency, working through internal auditors and audit committees across the country saved the nation GH¢235,229,749.08 in 2020 fiscal year.

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ASEPA petitions Special Prosecutor to probe Frontiers-Airport COVID-19 testing contract

The Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) has petitioned the Special Prosecutor, Mr Kissi Agyebeng to investigate circumstances that led to the contractual agreement between the Frontiers Health Services contract and the Ghana Airport Company Limited with regards to the mandatory COVID-19 testing at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).

The Frontiers Health Services was contracted to conduct mandatory COVID-19 tests for travelers at the airport at a cost of $150 per head.

There have been several concerns about the contractual agreement and cost of the test among others.

Latest to join the fray of concerned citizens is ASEPA.

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Kissi Agyabeng takes office as the second special prosecutor

President Akufo-Addo, on Thursday, August 5, officially swore into office, Kissi Agyebeng as the Special Prosecutor.

The 43-year-old Lawyer takes over from Martin Amidu who resigned from office in November 2020 after accusing the President of interference in his work.

Mr. Agyebeng was vested with the new authority on Thursday at the Jubilee House in the presence of the Chief of Staff, Attorney General, other government officials, and some traditional leaders.

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Fight corruption independently, impartially – Akufo-Addo tells Kissi Agyebeng

President Akufo-Addo has tasked the newly appointed Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng, to fight corruption independently and impartially.

“I ask the new Special Prosecutor to bear in mind at all times that the Office carries an extraordinary responsibility to fight corruption independently and impartially. Indeed all institutions of state will work and cooperate with him in the same spirit which he articulated at his approval proceedings in Parliament,” President Akufo-Addo said this during the swearing-in of Kissi Agyebeng at the Jubilee House Thursday.

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Restructure Corruption-Fighting Institutions

The objectives for the creation of the Office of the Special Prosecutor have not been met, and they may never be met. The Office has not displayed any positive character in its strategies to fighting corruption in Ghana. There cannot be an effective prediction of the success of the Office in achieving its purpose.

Fighting corruption will require the commitment and toughness of the personnel leading the institutions in the fight. But the commitment and toughness of persons, appointed by an institution such as the Attorney General which serves the interest of a particular government, will not be had, in leading such institutions. The interest of the Office of the Special Prosecutor and that of the Attorney General will not be different in fighting corruption as they both emanate from the same roots. The Attorney General is appointed by the President of the republic, who subsequently nominates an individual to be vetted for the position of the Special Prosecutor.

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New Public Officers Bill will boost fight against corruption – Attorney General

Attorney General Godfred Yeboah Dame is confident a new Conduct of Public Officers Bill to be presented to Parliament will boost the fight against corruption.

This bill, he explains, is to strengthen the role of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to investigate various matters involving Public Officers.

This includes issues of conflict of interest, non-declaration of assets, among others.

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Let’s use ‘reward them, let them do more’ approach to fight corruption – GII

Executive Director of Ghana Integrity lnitiative (GII) Linda Ofori-Kwafo, has recommended the use of an awards system approach in the fight against corruption. 

 ‘‘We are not saying an award system alone is going to minimize corruption, but we say it is complementing our efforts. In this current award system, we don’t punish but actually reward by praising and letting the public know the good works of most people. It is preventive,’’ she said. 

 Mrs Ofori-Kwafo said this at the launch of the 2021 Ghana Integrity Awards (GIAwards) sponsored by the Netherlands Embassy in Accra under the Multi Stakeholders Business Integrity Forum project to recognise outstanding individuals, private and public sector institutions making a significant contribution to combat corruption in the country. 

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Auditor General indicts Ghana’s Washington Mission officer over “missing” visa fees

…Ex-Tourism Minister, MP Queenstar Pokuah Sawyerr, Free SHS Secretariat also accused 

A new report of the Auditor-General shows that grand corruption and waste of public funds is not going away.  

Among a raft of findings is the indictment of the Honorary Consul General at Ghana’s Washington Mission and Houston Consulate for not being able to account for visa fees totalling US$354,760.00 (or two million cedis at prevailing exchange rates).

The Free SHS Secretariat is also accused of misapplying more than nineteen (19) million cedis of its allocations.

In addition, the Auditor-General says Ex-Tourism Minister Catherine Afeku is keeping three official vehicles despite leaving office.

MP Queenstar Pokuah Sawyerr is accused of spending GH¢39,000.00 of her MP allocation on non-existent works.

These are contained in the “Report of the Auditor-General on the Public Accounts of Ghana: Ministries, Departments and other Agencies for the year ended 31 December, 2020.”

The Office of the Auditor-General, under the hand of Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu, Acting Auditor-General transmitted this report to the Speaker of Parliament on 11 June, 2021. 

The big picture

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Corruption Watch Breakdown of ‘Auditor General’s Report on Public Accounts’

Introduction 

The document we focusing on is the “Report of the Auditor-General on the Public  Accounts of Ghana: Ministries, Departments and other Agencies for the year  ended 31 December, 2020.” 

The Office of the Auditor-General, under the hand of Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu, Acting Auditor-General transmitted this report to the Speaker of Parliament on 11  June, 2021.  

The report states that when the Auditor-General and his team set out to Audit  accounts of MDAs to ascertain the state of their accounts at the close of the year  2020, they were guided by certain objectives.  

They set out to determine whether: 

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