Beginning next year, the Audit Service will audit construction projects that are carried out by government as well as government procurement contracts, Auditor-General, Daniel Yaw Domelevo has said.
According to Mr. Domelevo, the service has already started the exercise on a pilot basis but it will go whole hog when the 2018/2019 budget is approved.
“In our proposal for next year’s budget, we are proposing to start two types of audit we have not done in the past. One of them is required by Section 91 of the Public Procurement Act; we are going to do procurement audit. The next audit, which we have not done in the past, is construction audit; we are thinking that we will venture into the construction business and see whether we are getting value for money,” he told members of the Special Budget Committee of Parliament when they paid a working visit to the Audit Service in Accra.
The Auditor-General indicated that it is a legal requirement expected of his outfit to ensure that public funds are used for the intended purposes, and to create fiscal space for the government to undertake other initiatives.
Mr. Domelevo expressed worry about the delays in budgetary allocation to his outfit and urged the Committee through to continue its dialogue with the Ministry of Finance to ensure timely releases.
For 2018, the Audit Service has so far received GH₵83million as actual cash out of an approved budget of GH₵218m.
“As of now, the release that came is quite substantial but I wish we had got it a bit earlier, because the earlier our reports, the more relevant they are, because we are talking about wastage, abuse of public funds, and how to go in and stop the leakages.
So, the more we delay in identifying the leakage, the more we lose as a country,” he added.
In order to ensure that the Auditor-General’s report or recommendations do not gather dust, he indicated that his outfit is collaborating with the Office of the Special Prosecutor which will pursue the criminal aspect of financial misappropriation or infractions.
Acting chairman of the Special Budget Committee, Philip Basoah, commended the Audit Service in its quest to save the nation from annual financial misappropriation by state institutions.
He assured the Auditor-General that the concerns he raised would be carried to the legislature and duly addressed.
The Vice Chairman of the Committee, Haruna Iddrisu, indicated that the country’s payroll system should be subjected to audit scrutiny, or that the payroll should be privatised in order to minimise corruption.
The Special Budget Committee considers the budget of Parliament and other constitutionally independent bodies, including the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice(CHRAJ), the National Media Commission(NMC), the Electoral Commission (EC), and the National Commission on Civic Education(NCCE).