The Member of Parliament for South Dayi Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor has called for prosecutorial powers to allow the Auditor-General prosecute persons implicated in audit reports.

He said, though Auditor-General has the powers to surcharge the offenders, that is not sufficient to deter persons or institutions from engaging in such acts.

Auditor-General should be empowered to prosecute - Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor

Mr Dafeamekpor was speaking in an interview with GBC News on the sidelines of the opening of the Public Account Committee’s sitting in Ho.

The Public Account Committee’s sitting is currently underway in Ho, the Volta Regional Capital.

Auditor-General should be empowered to prosecute - Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor

The opening, saw public Institutions such as the Accra Technical University, the Koforidua Technical University and the Ho Technical University been interrogated on infractions identified in the 2021 Auditor-General’s reports.

A member of the Committee, Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor said there must be a legal avenue for the auditor-General to prosecute the indicted persons or institutions.

“The Auditor-General itself in addition to the power to surcharge, should also have power to prosecute because it’s not sufficient to surcharge because when you surcharge you are asking the person to refund, is that sufficient? If somebody misappropriate public funds to the tune of about 300 million and you are only surcharging then you are encouraging the person to engage in it again” he said.

The MP said currently, the constitution only enables Parliament to finally interrogate the report that the Auditor General submits annually before he can proceed to surcharge. He said the Committee decided to make referrals to the Attorney General’s office for infractions such as breaches under the procurement law.

Auditor-General should be empowered to prosecute - Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor

Mr Dafeamekpor added that since May this year, the Committee has written to the Attorney General’s office for the prosecution of some institutions due to breaches under the procurement Law but the response is yet to come.

He believes when Parliament is given some prosecutorial powers to directly sanction persons or institutions implicated in audit reports, it will be beneficial to the state.

The 2021 audit reports of Ministries, Departments and Agencies show that lapses in the management of public finances led to the loss of one billion and eighty million, nine hundred and thirteen thousand, eight hundred and twenty-four Ghana cedis (1,080,913,824).