A financial analyst Benedict Gibson has challenged claims by the auditor general that he needs prosecutorial powers to be able to effectively fight financial abuse in the public sector.
Daniel Domelevo at a press briefing Monday listed various actions the Auditor General’s Department is taking to deal with persons who continue to abuse the public purse.
“We are not going to finish our audit and wait for the TV show at Public Accounts [Committee] anymore. When we finish our audit, we raise observations against you and you decide to ignore it we will disallow the expenditure and surcharge you and I told my colleagues that beginning this year we must have to apply the law.
“…Under the section 29 subsection 2 it says that ‘anyone who does not even meet the 30 days deadline…we should stop his salaries’. It is in the law that once we have raised an observation after 30 days you decide not to respond, you should not be paid and we have to start that now. We have to block people’s salaries. And even after blocking your salaries if you don’t come we will now disallow the expenditure and surcharge you,” he said.
Commenting on the claims by the AG, Mr. Gibson told Francis Abban on the Morning Starr Tuesday that the status quo where the attorney general does the prosecution of defaulting public servants on behalf of the department must remain.
“The Auditor General should follow the due process. Whatever recommendation he comes up with should be given to the right institution to take it up from there. If the Auditor General is given the power to prosecute institutions, what then is going to be the role of the Attorney General and the Special Prosecutor? Auditors are supposed to give an opinion about a particular situation or event within a certain period of time. When this is done, their work is almost done,” he said.