The Auditor-General says it is inappropriate for the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) to approve sponsorship funds for the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO).
Daniel Domelevo said EOCO being an oversight institution like the Auditor General’s office, should have rejected the cash donation.
“As an oversight body, you must not only be independent, but you must be seen as independent. So if an oversight body is partaking in the booty and goes back to provide oversight, who will trust them?
“They may do a professional job but who will trust them since they have compromised their independence? This must be avoided…I think that is not a way to go,” he said.
He argues that although the GNPC Board has the right to make decisions, those decisions must fall within the ambit of the law.
“So maybe during an audit, we will interrogate to find out whether the laws of GNPC allow the funds to be used that way. If not then, it may not be the right thing.
“Yes, there are administrative structures like Boards which take decisions but one thing I would like to advise them about is that every time they should try and make sure they are within the law,” he added.
The concerns about GNPC spending heavily on non-core activities have arisen again after details of the financial requests to the Corporation’s Communication and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) committee was approved by the GNPC board.
A memo dated October 25 outlines various sums of money to different institutions.
The memo indicated that approvals have been granted to some supposed requests received with the stated amounts as indicated below:
– 2019 Damba Festival Preparation- Dagbon State- GH¢400,000.00
– 20th Anniversary of Okyenhene – GH¢500,000.00 over three years totalling (GH¢1,500,000.00) for the environment and greening.
II: GH¢300,000.00 for the organisation of 20th Anniversary celebrations of Okyenhene
– Ghana Journalists Association – GH¢50,000.00
– Ghana Boxing Association – $30,000.00
– Rebecca Foundation – GH¢120,000.00
– EOCO – GH¢550,000.00
Reacting to the news, Mr Domelevo said public funds are meant for the public and the Constitution under article 178 provides how public funds are supposed to be used.
“So the use of discretion is restricted to what the law permits. If the law does not permit the use of the money the way it has been spent, then definitely something is not right,” he said.
The Auditor-General argued that since the supreme law of the country is clear on what to do, so individuals cannot use their discretion to create any anarchy by defining what is in the public’s interest.
“In fact when people are appropriating public funds to their personal use, they see it as serving the national interest which is quite disturbing,” he said.