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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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‘Pay or Die’ documentary: We need a system overhaul – Dr Asiedu Sarpong

A Fellow at the Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), Dr Kwame Asiedu Sarpong has called for an immediate system overhaul in the health sector of the country.

Reacting to the shocking details of a Corruption Watch documentary, “Pay or Die; The agony of pregnant women” the UK-based Pharmacist stated on Super Morning Show Wednesday, that rigorous education, revitalization, and other initiatives need to be introduced to halt the extortion of money from pregnant women.

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Exposé in ‘Pay or Die’ documentary a tip of the iceberg – Public Health expert

A retired Public Health expert, Dr Oben Apori, says he is not surprised pregnant women are made to pay for service delivery in hospitals in Ghana.

According to him, the exposé by Corruption Watch investigator, Francisca Enchill, dubbed: Pay or Die! The agony of pregnant women in hospitals is just the “tip of the iceberg”.

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‘Pay or Die’ documentary: Punish health workers charging pregnant women unapproved fees – Kwame Gakpey

Member of Parliament for Keta Kwame Gakpey has urged the Ministry of Health to investigate and punish officials of various public hospitals charging pregnant women unapproved fees.

Speaking to JoyNews, Monday, he stated that the practice uncovered in a Corruption Watch documentary ‘Pay or Die’ is unacceptable, hence the need to probe further and halt the extortion of money from pregnant women.

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Corruption Watch analysis: unaccounted gold exports worth 30bn cedis

You might have heard some time ago about the over US$3.6bn gold that was shipped out of Ghana to India without going through the necessary processes.

Compare that with the over US$6.3 billion Corruption Watch has discovered from our analysis of available data.

In 2016, information came through that between January 2014 and January 2016, a total of 101,179 kg of gold valued at US$3,607,415,756.36 was shipped out of Ghana to India alone, without going through the necessary processes. This certainly posed a high risk of money laundering and illicit financial outflows out of Ghana.

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Make judicious use of corruption reporting platforms – GII

The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), local chapter of Transparency International, has encouraged Ghanaians to take advantage of the available corruption reporting platforms to report corruption incidents.

The GII said as part of efforts to make corruption reporting easier, many platforms such as the Advocacy and legal Advocacy Centre (ALAC), IPAIDABRIBE, and Eye on Corruption had been created.

Speaking during a community engagement programme dubbed; “Increasing Citizens Power to Fight Corruption: Contributions of the Judicial Service,” in Takoradi, Mr Michael Boadi, Corporate Affairs Manager of the GII, said Ghanaians must fully make use of such platforms to report corrupt practices and support institutions to work efficiently.

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Contracts for sale: Suspended PPA boss, Adjenim Boateng Adjei should be sacked – CHRAJ to Akufo-Addo

The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has said CEO of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) Adjenim Boateng Adjei should be sacked by President Akufo-Addo.

He is also disqualified from holding public office for the next five years.

Mr. Adjei was suspended from office by President Akufo-Addo following an investigative documentary by Manasseh Azure Awuni, which revealed a company he co-owned, has been selling government contracts it won through single-source and restrictive tendering, to the highest bidder.

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Would the Special Prosecutor please keep us updated on the corruption fight?

In my humble opinion, it was a step in the right direction when somewhere last year, the NPP Communication Director, the Honourable Yaw Buaben Asamoah called on the Special Prosecutor, Mr Martin Amidu to keep Ghanaians updated on the progress of the corruption fight.

Dearest reader, you may agree to disagree, but I am of the opinion that the appointment of Mr Martin Amidu to the position of the Special Prosecutor with a mandate of investigating, prosecuting and retrieving stolen monies from greedy and corrupt public officials, is, arguably, the most important appointment by President Akufo-Addo thus far.

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CHRAJ urges Domelevo to file complaint over forced proceed-on-leave directive

Commissioner for Human Rights and Administrative Justice has described as unfortunate the Executive directive to the Auditor-General, Daniel Domelevo, to proceed on leave.

The comments by Joseph Whittal on the sidelines of the launch of the Citizens Anti-Corruption Manifesto last week adds to the plethora of criticisms that has hit the presidential directive forcing the Auditor-General to take his accumulated 167 days’ leave.

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