In the coming days pressure group OccupyGhana will be hitting hard at some government agencies over some corrupt acts those agencies are engaged in, Nana Sarpong Agyeman Badu, a member of the group, has said.
According to him, the group, which has over the years played a key role in unearthing and sustaining discussions on corruption among public officers as a way of curbing the menace in the country, has noted with deep concern some corrupt actions in some government agencies.
Dispelling concerns that the group will fold up following the victory of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in last year’s elections, Mr Sarpong, contributing to a discussion on State of Affairs on GhOne hosted by Nana Aba Anamoah on Tuesday February 14, said: “This is the third press release we have released this year and we are just in February.
“There are other issues of national importance that we are about to tackle, we will be touching them very soon. They are very sensitive things which are costing the country a lot, there are certain government agencies who are having a free ride and we are going to start hitting them. So people should just dispel that idea that once the NPP is in power OccupyGhana is dead.”
On Monday 13 February, the group said at least GHS7.5 billion of taxpayers’ money was lost through public sector corruption between 2003 and 2014.
A statement they issued said: “In our conservative estimates based on the Auditor-General’s own reports to Parliament from 2003 to 2014 (excluding 2009), Ghana lost almost GHS2.5billion through Ministries, Departments and Agencies alone. And between 2009 and 2014, amounts lost to Ghana through public boards, corporations and other statutory institutions were over GHS5 billion.
“It is the continued, blatant theft of the nation’s monies through public sector corruption and the apparent unwillingness of the Auditor-General to exercise the powers of Disallowance and Surcharge that compelled OccupyGhana to reluctantly commence proceedings before the Supreme Court on 21st July 2016. That matter is still pending, and on 31st January 2017 the Supreme Court directed the parties to file further arguments on the matter.”
Read the full statement below:
OCCUPYGHANA'S PROPOSALS PASSED INTO LAW IN GHANA
OccupyGhana® is happy to announce that it has just received a copy of the High Court (Civil Procedure) (Amendment) (No. 2) Rules, 2016 (CI 102), which regulates appeals to the High Court from the Auditor-General’s Disallowances and Surcharges.
Since 12th November, 2014 OccupyGhana® has been battling the Auditor-General, urging him to exercise the constitutional and statutory powers of Disallowance and Surcharge, and thereby help Ghana to recover the billions of Cedis that are lost to the nation each year through blatant and largely unpunished public sector corruption.
In the course of that engagement, OccupyGhana® discovered that the requirement under Article 187(10) of the Constitution for the enactment of rules of court to regulate appeals against the Auditor-General’s Disallowances and Surcharges had not been complied with.
On 28th May 2015, OccupyGhana wrote to the Rules of Court Committee to inquire about those rules.
As a result of the subsequent interactions, OccupyGhana was invited to submit, and submitted to the Rules of Court Committee, proposed draft rules for enactment as required under Article 187(10).
Subsequently, OccupyGhana received for its comments, the draft bill which captured almost verbatim, the proposals we had made.
It has always been OccupyGhana’s contention that the Auditor-General has more power to commence the process of recovering monies lost to Ghana by issuing the Disallowances and
Surcharges, than the simple annual ritual of issuing ‘journalistic’ Reports to Parliament containing mere “recommendations.”
Indeed, in the words of the Auditor-General in the 2011 and 2013 Reports to Parliament, “The cataloguing of financial irregularities in my Report on MDAs and Other Agencies has become an annual ritual that seems to have no effect.”
In our conservative estimates based on the Auditor-General’s own Reports to Parliament from 2003 to 2014 (excluding 2009), Ghana lost almost GHS2.5 Billion through Ministries, Department and Agencies alone.
And between 2009 and 2014, amounts lost to Ghana through Public Boards, Corporations and Other Statutory Institutions were over GH¢5 Billion.
It is the continued, blatant theft of the nation’s monies through public sector corruption and the apparent unwillingness of the Auditor-General to exercise the powers of Disallowance and Surcharge, that compelled OccupyGhana to reluctantly commence proceedings before the Supreme Court on 21st July 2016. That matter is still pending, and on 31st January 2017
the Supreme Court directed the parties to file further arguments on the matter.
As we wait for this matter to be concluded in court or settled out of court if the Auditor General simply issues the required Disallowances and Surcharges, we are gratified to witness the enactment of these rules, CI 102, which we have taken the liberty to christen “The OG Rules.”
But more importantly, it shows that any labour for mother Ghana is not in vain. We also express our sincere gratitude to the Rules of Court Committee, and particularly Her Ladyship the Chief Justice for the opportunity to work together on this matter.
It is in the same spirit that we reiterate our long-expressed willingness to drop the court action the day the Auditor-General issues the first Disallowances and Surcharges.
Yours, in the perpetual Service for God & Country OccupyGhana®.