Government to challenge Auditor-General’s report on Kroll and Associate transaction

Accra- Government on Wednesday declared its intention to challenge the Auditor-General’s findings, which suggested financial malfeasance in the payment of one million dollars to UK-based firm, Kroll and Associate.

The findings of the Auditor-General’s report published on account of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) ending December 31, 2018 revealed that Government paid one million dollars to Kroll and Associate without any evidence of work.

Speaking at a media briefing in Accra to clarify the issue, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the Information Minister, said the Ministry of Finance (MoF) would later this week serve notice to the Auditor General, to express its plans to challenge the audit findings in parliament.

“The MoF believes that at least, if the constitutional path was followed by the Audit team, MoF would have had the opportunity to respond at the next legally appropriate forum and explain the transaction,” he stated.

He said prior to the furnishing of the Audit team with a report, the Audit was completed and a report was published to the effect that there was no evidence of work for the payment of one million dollars to the UK firm.

The Minister explained that the MoF was then seeking details from the office of the Senior Minister, which was the appropriate office that executed the transaction.

Mr Oppong Nkrumah said the constitutional practice demanded that, the report should have been submitted to Parliament and invite affected MDAs to respond to issues that concerned them.

“The transaction is properly backed by an agreement that took effect on February 13, 2017 pursuant to a letter of intent on February 2, and signed by the Government of Ghana.

“This letter of intent was further included in an agreement dated 29th, September,2019,” the Minister stated.

He said, the office of the Senior Minister responded to the MOF’s query to the effect that since September,2017, Kroll and Associate was working with the government of Ghana to undertake extensive and thorough investigations of allegations of wrongdoing, and provide evidence of assets recoveries for possible prosecution.

Therefore, the findings to the effect that, there was no contract or irregularity in documentation that no work was done is wrong, Mr Oppong Nkrumah stated.

The Minister expressed MoF’s displeasure that the Auditor General went public and announced the findings to the mass media as though it had concluded a non-negotiable fact.

Ordinarily, the Minister averred that, MoF would have preferred going to parliament to explain itself.

However, since Auditor General went public, it was obliged to also explain issues to the public before going to parliament to cure that wrong impression.

He gave the assurance that MoF would address all the issues regarding the transaction with the necessary documentation in Parliament.

He encouraged all agencies to follow due process in coming out with any findings or report so that no one’s reputation is tarnished.

Source: Ghana News Agency