The Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has described as premature a petition by the Minority in Parliament sent to the Auditor-General to conduct a special audit into some ¢280.3 million which the government allocated for relief items during the Covid-19 lockdown.
The petition followed similar concerns the National Democratic Congress (NDC) raised on Monday at a press briefing, where they sought to know how that money was spent.
The party’s MPs eventually sent a petition, signed by the Ranking Member on Parliament’s Finance Committee, Cassiel Ato Forson, and the Minority Chief Whip, Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, to the Auditor-General’s office on Wednesday, June 3.
“Honourable Auditor-General, the Minority Caucus in Parliament with the responsibility of ensuring the judicious utilization of state resources, in accordance with Section 16 of the Audit Service Act, 2000 (Act 584), as provided, calls on you to undertake a Special Audit into the expenditure on the ¢280.3 million that was allocated for the provision of food and water under the Coronavirus Alleviation Program (CAP),” the petition read in part.
Reacting to the development Thursday at the meet-the-press briefing, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah explained that what the Minority is demanding is too early a call to make.
Making references to Article 187 of the 1992 Constitution and Section 16 of the Audit Service Act, the Minister noted the such audits are annual except where it is necessary for a special audit. He said that was basic knowledge.
“Anyone who has done basic Accounting and Auditing, the financial year usually will have to end and then the one who is executing the task will prepare his account and then the auditor will come in and audit,” he explained.
He, however, noted that the project that the Minority wants investigated is still ongoing for which reason an audit is not immediately plausible.
“Within that context, I think we can all understand how premature the call for a special audit when the project has not even ended,” the Ofoase Ayirebi MP said.