Honorary IMANI Africa Vice President, Bright Simons, has criticised the Auditor-General for shying away from what he called controversial matters because of “political colouration of some kind.” As an example, Mr. Simons said the Auditor-General failed to audit the Electoral Commission after concerns were raised over its procurement of new biometric machines ahead of the 2020 elections.
Mr. Simons also described the Commission as “by far one of the most abusive of state agencies”.
“Go and check consecutive Auditor-General reports and see if you can find detailed audits of the Electoral Commission. You will not find them. A proper asset audit has not been conducted for almost a decade,” he said on Joy FM’s Newsfile. Other companies that demanded more scrutiny were the Ghana Airport Company and the National Lottery Authority, Mr. Simons added.
“We know there are a lot of irregularities in [the Frontiers Healthcare Solution Services deal]. They didn’t mention Frontiers at all,” in the 12 audit reports presented to Parliament.
“There are huge irregularities at the National Lottery Authority; huge losses, but none of that was mentioned on the section on the National Lotteries Authority [in the audit report],” he said.
In his view, the new leadership ought to be subjecting such institutions to strict audits.
“Mr. [Daniel] Domelevo set a bar that has not been met. He went after the Senior Minister,” Mr. Simons reminded.
In line with this, the IMANI Africa Vice President said the Auditor-General needed to focus on weightier matters. “If you go into an audit situation, and you don’t report everything you see, you create a situation where you are hiding important gems in a sea of nonsense… You create these giant reports that we don’t read, and we get lost,” he said.
As an example of inconsequential content in the audit reports, he said: “You have a situation where GHS44 owed by the Coca-Cola bottling company to Cocoa Clinic in Kumasi has been reported. Why should a Member of Parliament be worried about the Coca-Cola bottling company owing GHS44 to Cocoa clinic?” he quizzed.