Law lecturer and Vice Chairperson of Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) Ghana, Clara Beeri Kasser-Tee, says it was constitutional for the Auditor-General to publish the report.
Her comments, come in the wake of demands by the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, for the AG to unpublish government’s Covid-19 transactions pending the fulfilment of the constitutional injunctions leading to the ultimate publication, including submitting the report first to Parliament.
However, the law lecturer said contrary to what the Justice Minister is demanding, the AG does not need Parliament’s approval to publish its report.
“The Auditor-General does not need the permission of anybody on when to publish their report,” she said.
Speaking on Newsfile on Saturday, she explained that in accordance with the Audit Act, the Auditor-General is obliged to submit its report to Parliament and then proceed to publish the report.
“What the law tells the Auditor-General to do is that after you are done with your Audit report present or submit it to parliament. Then the Auditor-General’s work is done under the Audit Act.
“After this, the Act instructs the Auditor-General to publish it,” she said.
She added that when the law mandates an institution to publish its work, the findings become a ‘public document’.
Mrs Kasser-Tee further said in the process of writing the report the law mandated that equal opportunity be given to all parties in the report for balanced representation.
“What the Auditor-General has to do is in preparing the audit report they must follow certain processes that include giving the right to be held to all the parties who are subject to the audit report,” she said.
Responding to questions on what Parliament was supposed to do with the audit report she said, parliament was to debate and form committees when necessary.
“The purpose of Parliament is to see whether or not things have gone wrong,” she said.
Mrs Kasser-Tee said although legal actions could be taken by anyone dissatisfied with the audit report, the action did not include Parliament directing the Auditor-General to change sections of the report.
The Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, James Avedzi, has said the Auditor-General did nothing untoward in publishing the special audit on government’s Covid-19 expenditure.
The Ketu North MP added that the Auditor-General complied with the provisions of the 1992 Constitution.
According to him, Article 187(5) mandates the Auditor-General to submit to Parliament, government’s audited reports not less than six months after the end of the year.
The audit report brought to light the misappropriated and unaccounted covid 19 funds.
Subsequently, various stakeholders have mounted pressure on government to demand proper accountability for Covid-19 funds.