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Declare assets or face sanctions- Audit Service gives ultimatum

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Ghana Audit Service says it has come to its attention that some Public Officials fail to declare their assets to the Auditor General as required by Law.

In line with this the Auditor General’s Office says in its 2019 financial year audits, it would also audit Public Officials who have failed to declare their assets under the law and forward that information to the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, CHRAJ for action.

Assistant Public Relations Officer, Audit Service, Bernard Conduah disclosed this at an encounter with journalists, convened by the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition, GACC, to mobilise support for an effective Asset Declaration Regime in Ghana.

Mr. Conduah explained that “all internal auditors of public institutions, accountants, procurement officers, planning, budget and all other officers whose job descriptions interface with funds and service provision are required by law to declare their assets before taking office and must do so every four years’’.

Article 286 clause (1) of the Constitution states that “public office holders, including the President, the Vice-President, the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, as well ministers and deputy ministers of state, ambassadors, the Chief Justice and managers of public institutions in which the state has interest, shall declare their assets before and at the end of their tenure in office”.

Furthermore, Article 287 states that, “failure to declare or knowingly making a false declaration shall be a contravention of this Constitution and shall be dealt with in accordance with Article 287 of this Constitution’’.

Head of Programs at GACC, Bright Sowu, said the lack of an explicit sanction regime is a setback to the fight against corruption.

In soliciting the support of the media and CSOs in ensuring an effective assert declaration regime in Ghana, Mr. Sowu pointed out that “a critical support from all stakeholders is necessary to ensure success of the advocacy’’.

He disclosed that besides education and sensitisation, the GACC would also take advantage of the “Public Officers Bill when laid in Parliament, to make the necessary input via a petition’’.

Story filed by Rebecca Ekpe.

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