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Kan Dapaah calls for stiffer punishment
 
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20-Nov-2009  
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Mr. Albert Kan Dapaah, Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament on Thursday called for the review of the criminal laws that would empower implementing agencies to mete out stiffer punishment to financial embezzlers.

"The laws should be able to make sufficient room for embezzlers and those who create loop-holes for the embezzlement of government public funds to be punished."

Mr. Dapaah made the call during his remarks at the end of a seven-day public hearing of the committee on the Auditor-General's Report.

The sitting of the committee among other issues questioned public officials from the Departments and Agencies of the Ministries of Education, Health, Interior, Foreign Affairs, Tourism and Information.

The Chairman also admonished heads of government institutions to seriously consider the Auditor General's report and provide adequate explanations to queries as such reports subsequently become official documents and could only be challenged in court.

He commended the Audit Service and Parliamentary Centre for making everything possible for the public hearings and expressed the hope that the revelations from the committee would scare other members of the public from engaging in financial misappropriation.

Mr. Dapaah appealed to supervisors of various organisations to step up their supervisory role to avoid leakages that cause financial loss to the country.

"You will not be left out anytime they are punishing financial offenders since you create the opportunities for them," he warned.

Mr. Enoch Teye Mensah, Member of the Committee blamed the high level of embezzlement of public funds to the placement of unqualified professionals in some government institutions.

He expressed dissatisfaction at the lack of professional accountants in some important organisations that keep public funds, and called for the empowerment of the Internal Audit Service to bring sanity to such organisations.

Officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Tourism and the National Health Insurance Scheme Managers appeared before the committee to answer questions on various financial misappropriation brought against them by the Auditor-General.
 
 
 
Source: GNA
 
 

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