The Auditor General, Mr Daniel Yao Domelevo, has called for privatisation of the prosecution of corruption and related cases to complement the efforts of the Attorney-General (A-G) in the fight against the canker.
He observed that the A-G, who was responsible for prosecuting corrupt practices in the country, was burdened with other prosecutorial duties, making it difficult to investigate and prosecute the numerous cases of corruption in the country.
Mr Domelevo said the call was not to relieve the A-G of her duties but rather complement them with the involvement of other qualified private investigative bodies.
“A lot of corruption cases go unattended to because the A-G is overloaded with so many duties. If we decentralised the duties such that we had multiple sources of action, it would make it much distasteful for people to engage in corrupt practices,” he stated.
He was speaking at the launch of a multi-stakeholder Business Integrity Forum organised by the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) in Accra on Thursday.
Participants included officials from the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and corporate institutions. They deliberated on matters relating to integrity and accountability in the private sector.
Mr Domelevo further suggested that private firms which would apply to assist the A-G in the prosecution of cases should be made to undergo thorough monitoring and supervision to ensure that they discharge their duties effectively.
“If the country was losing, for example, GH¢10 million through a corrupt deed and a private firm assists in recovering the amount, they could be rewarded with at least GH¢ 2 million out of the total amount. It is better than getting nothing,” he said.
On declaration of assets, Mr Domelevo said the Audit Service would by the end of the year, launch an online platform that would require all public officers in state institutions to declare their assets and liabilities online.
He said his tenure had seen significant enforcement of the public office holders (Declaration of Assets and Disqualification) Act, 1998 (Act 550), which mandated all public officers to declare their assets.
“We are collecting the database of all officers who are supposed to declare their assets through their emails. After registration, their institutions will validate their identities after which they will be given approval to declare their assets in the comfort of their homes,” Mr Domelevo explained.
Touching on the performance of accountants, Mr Domelevo blamed them for most of the financial woes in the country and called for a thorough screening of their work to curb the menace of embezzlement of funds in both the public and private sectors.
“As a chartered accountant, I know how dangerous accountants can be if they are not checked. Records show that the financial woes in this country are mostly caused by the activities of accountants in both the public and private sectors,” he claimed.
For her part, the Executive Director of the GII, Mrs Linda Ofori-Kwafo, advised businesses to uphold high standards of integrity in their service delivery to ensure accountability at all times.
She said the GII was committed to collaborating with the govenment and the private sector to resolve challenges of corruption that were affecting the accelerated development of the country.