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Punish Corrupt Officials Severely - ICAG   
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The President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Ghana (ICAG), Mr. Christian Sottie has called for punitive actions to be taken against public officials cited in the Auditor General’s reports for misappropriation of funds.

He said such offence continued to thrive in the country due to lack of law enforcement and that if people were brought to book and made to refund the money they misappropriate, it will serve as deterrent to others.

He was speaking in an interview with the press on the sidelines of a thanksgiving service at the Calvary Baptist Church, Adenta, as part of the institute’s annual Accountants’ week celebration.

Mr Sottie said the new Public Finance Management law had more sanctions including imprisonment and that law enforcement agencies should apply them if the situation demanded such sanction.

“We hear it [Auditor General Report]. There is euphoria and after a while it dies off. And nobody knows what happens and it looks like people then go away with the booty and are enjoying it and that is why it is still persisting,” he said.

Mr. Sottie said the public sector lacked accountants with requisite competences to handle finances and made a case for professionals, particularly members of the institute, to be engaged for efficient financial management.

Touting how competent members of the institute were, he advised government to be mindful of persons entrusted with finances and make sure qualified persons were employed to reduce the incidences of corruption.

He said none of the accountants cited in the Auditor General’s reports were members of the institute but cautioned that those caught in any case of corruption could either be suspended or their membership would be revoked.

In a sermon titled ‘Stewardship Excellence’, Senior Minister of the church, Rev. Francis Narterh advised accountants to be diligent in the discharge of their duties in their various organisations.

He said they should not allow themselves to be distracted by wealth and quick money to dent their image saying, “You must excel in your stewardship. What is not yours is not yours.”

He quoted Proverbs 4:25-27, saying “Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.”

Source: The Ghanaian Times

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