The immediate past Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho, has called on staff of the Audit Service to resist the temptation of leaking reports of the Auditor General which are yet to be scrutinized and approved by Parliament.
While emphasizing that the auditors are fallible hence the need for parliament’s rigorous scrutiny to ensure the information provided is accurate, he said the “disturbing development” of leaking the report undermines the power of Parliament.
Speaking at a book launch “Destiny and Politics; A Biography in Honour of Samuel Sallas-Mensah,” Doe Adjaho mentioned that the findings from the Audit Service are not sacrosanct hence the possibility of it being challenged.
“My understanding of the law and best parliamentary practice is that prior to publication, audit reports must be laid in parliament, these reports are subsequently referred to the public accounts committee for consideration and reported to the whole house. Yet in recent times, we read in the media about reports, but when you try to get a copy from parliament you’re told it has not been laid,” he said.
“The truth is that, auditors also do make mistakes. My position is that, we should at all cost resist the temptation to leak audit reports which may not necessarily be final on the matter before the reports are laid in the House… Interestingly, these reports are generating public discourse ahead of the consideration and examination of parliament. This is wrong and impugns on the work of the public of the public accounts committee,” he added.
The 2016 Auditor General’s report on MDAs, although yet to be laid before Parliament, is within the public domain and has generated a lot of public discussions over the past few days. The Auditor General, Daniel Domelevo, has also made some public utterances about the report including suggestions that he be given prosecutorial powers.
But Doe Adjaho warned that there could be dire consequences when documents are leaked.
He however called on the Auditor General to be firm and “play by the rules” even in the face of public pressure and political enthusiasm.
In attendance at the book launch were some past and present Members of parliaments as well as members of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) including Former Finance Minister Seth Tepker, Moses Asaga and Rashid Pelpuo.
Doe Adjaho, who wrote the foreword to the book and also formally launched the biography, described Mr. Samuel Sallas-Mensah as a “good friend and former colleague and one of the distinguished and finest members of parliament in the 4th republic who served Ghana dutifully”.
He also credited Samuel Sallas-Mensah for his work in ensuring that the Public Accounts Committee sittings were televised.
‘100,000 endowment fund’
The book launch also saw the launch of a ¢100.000 endowment fund to support needy but brilliant students from two district assemblies: Upper West Akim and West Akim Municipal Assembly.
Samuel Sallas-Mensah described the book launch as one of the cherished moments of his life. Recounting his days growing up and struggles to get education, he pledged that proceeds made out of the sale of the book will go into the fund which will be managed by a trust.
He also expressed his appreciation to the NDC and his constituents for the support over the years.
Sallas-Mensah further urged members of the party to keep upholding the values of accountability and integrity.
The 155-paged biography, titled ‘Destiny and Politics’, was written by CNN-Award winning journalist, Kofi Akpabli.
Sallas-Mensah was the Member of Parliament for Upper West Akim for four terms and the former Chief Executive Officer of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA).
By: Jonas Nyabor/citifmonline.com/Ghana