Asset declaration difficult and expensive to monitor – Auditor General

Mr. Daniel Domelevo, Auditor-General

The Auditor-General, Mr. Daniel Domelevo has said the Audit Service is currently using a risk approach method in verifying properties due to the expensive nature of monitoring assets.

He maintained, monitoring properties under the regime, has become expensive to coordinate, hence, the use of the approach to do verifications.

Mr. Domelevo, mentioned the lack of information on assets and filling forms on paper as some challenges of the system.

According to him, the system as it stands makes room for asset concealment and wondered why it cannot be done online.

Politicians

He explained, many Ghanaians still think the regime applies only to politicians and government appointees.

“That is a wrong perception. That rule actually applies to all public and civil servants and currently, it is not functioning as it must,” Mr. Domelevo averred.

Lack of data on individual’s assets

“…the problem is that we don’t know which property is owned by who and we don’t have data on who owns which property, so we are always forced to rely on what the property owner declares. Whether under-declared or not, that’s usually the information we work with and it’s challenging,” he noted.

A public officer in any government institution, be it a university lecturer, with a salary equal to a director in the civil service, earning GHS3, 727 and above, is supposed to declare their assets, Mr. Domelevo said, explaining that, “going to verify all these people is normally very difficult so we normally deal with the high risk individuals in order save some resources.”

Mr. Domelevo, who was speaking at the lunch of a Quarterly Multi-Stakeholder Business Integrity Forum organized by the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) in Accra, indicated that the major challenge confronting the Audit Service is the lack of information on assets which are owned by individuals.

“The constitution under article 286 clause 4, says if there is an unexplainable growth in the individual’s assets which isn’t attributable to income source, gifts, etc., then it is an asset acquired unconstitutionally, the Audit Service cannot verify all this so we as well need some honesty from Ghanaians to achieve this,” he said.

The Quarterly Multi-Stakeholder Business Integrity Forum

The Forum is an effort by the Ghana Integrity Initiative to tackle corruption through engaging multi-stakeholders in the value chain.

The concept is under GII’s expanded DANIDA-supported Tax and Development Programme aimed at bringing businesses, private sector, state actors and civil society to identify, project and advocate for a corruption-free business environment in Ghana.

GII’s Executive Director, Mrs. Linda Ofori-Kwafo said the forum in the future, will create avenues for deliberations on challenges being faced by the private sector in Ghana, elicit appropriate responses from state institutions among other things.

By Wisdom Jonny-Nuekpe