A Member of the Public Accounts Committee has opined that the issue of the judges cited in the 201 Auditor-General’s report for unlawful purchase of vehicles is not the best.
The lawmaker who represents the people of Builsa South noted that per the report of the Auditor-General, the incident raises the issue of propriety.
The MP who commented on the issue explained that the Finance Ministry should have approved the auction of the vehicles, but this was not done.
The Auditor General has cited 19 former and current judges of Ghana’s superior courts for acquiring state vehicles, which is a violation of Regulation 158 of the Public Financial Management Regulations, 2019. (L.I. 2378).
According to the report, 19 vehicles were “auctioned by the Service for GH1,023,507.96 without the Minister of Finance’s approval.”
According to the regulation, the principal spending officer of a covered entity must obtain written approval from the Minister before transferring, exchanging, selling, donating, contributing in kind, trusting, or disposing of any vehicle.
Some people have attacked and described the judges as greedy, while others have stated that it was not the judges’ fault.
According to the MP, while judges should not be demonized, they are also not innocent beneficiaries.
He said ”if you read that portion of the report, the auditors had indicated that procedures and processes were not followed and specifically before the auctioning should have taken place, the ministry of finance should have approved of it, but that did not happen.
And because that did not occur, it raises several questions about the propriety of the auction and whether or not the price at which the vehicles were auctioned complies with the established rules and procedures.
He agreed that there was no need for any judge to be attacked or insulted over the matter. However, the judges or beneficiaries of the vehicles are not innocent beneficiaries.
Although it is a benefit available to them, they could have chosen not to take it. And so, if their [judges] representatives failed to do the needful by ensuring that the right processes and procedures were followed, clearly, you can not also fault the auditors for calling the judges out.
The MP said they are judges and ignorance of the law cannot be an excuse and that was why the auditors cited them.