Dame’s Letter to Auditor-General Was Meant to Silence Him – Mahama
Former President John Dramani Mahama has said that the letter that was written to the Auditor-General by Attorney General Godfred Dame calling for the audit report on the Covid-19 expenditure to be unpublished was meant to silence the Auditor-General.
“The Attorney General’s letter to the Auditor General is clearly meant to silence him and create a conducive atmosphere for corruption to thrive. President @NAkufoAddo ’s administration is not only indifferent in the fight against corruption – they are collaborators!” Mr Mahama tweeted on Wednesday February 15.
Mr Dame has written against the decision by the Auditor-General to publish the report on Covid expenditure.
Per Article 187(5) of the Constitution, Mr Dame explained, the Auditor-General is mandated to submit his report to Parliament to draw attention to any irregularities in the accounts audited?
The Auditor-General report stated that “During our review, we noted that senior management staff and other supporting staff of the Ministry of Information paid themselves a total amount of GH¢151,500.00 as COVID-19 risk allowance for coming to work during the lockdown.”
It further indicated that the Ministry of Health (MoH) entered a contract signed on 15 December 2021 for the supply of 26 Toyota Hiace Deluxe Ambulances valued at US$4,049,460.12 out of which US$607,419.02 was paid to vide PV No. IPF 22-007 of 2 September 2022 is to be delivered by 15 January 2022.
However, the report said, the ambulances remained undelivered as of 28 November 2022.
But the Attorney General in his letter said ” “I observe that the report of the special audit on the Government’s COVID-19 transactions has been published on the website of the Audit Service. In light of the constitutional provisions pertaining to the duty of the Auditor-General after the preparation of audit reports, I consider a publication of the COVID-19 audit report or indeed any audit report particularly when the same has not been either considered by Parliament or referred to a committee of Parliament, premature.”
Mr Dame has however justified the letter he wrote.
He stated that it is astonishing that CDD-Ghana disputes the propriety of the Attorney-General rendering legal advice to the Auditor-General, and construes same as “an interference with the independence of the auditor general”.
A proper reading of the Constitution, especially the provisions on the Public Services of Ghana, leads to the inescapable conclusion that the Attorney-General is fully vested with the constitutional function of giving legal advice to all the Public Services specifically listed in Article 190(1) of the Constitution, including the Audit Service, and such other public services as will be established by law.
Article 295 indicates that the public services listed in article 190 and other public services established by Parliament pursuant to its legislative powers, are part of the civil offices of Government.
In the face of the explicit constitutional mandate of the Attorney-General under article 88 of the Constitution as principal legal adviser to the Government, it is incomprehensible and rather illogical how an assertion may be made that the Attorney-General has no capacity to render legal advice to the Auditor-General.