Covid-19 Related Funds: Don’t tell citizens to wait for audit — Prof. John Gatsi

Professor John Gatsi
Professor John Gatsi

An Economist, Lecturer and the Dean of the University of Cape Coast (UCC) Business School Professor John Gatsi said Public funds require the practice of the principles of accountability, responsibility, disclosures and sustainable use.

In a statement Prof. Gatsi disclosed that, different funds have been raised including the setting up of the Covid-19 trust fund to procure health related logistics, materials and provide stimulus packages.

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According to him, in the past two weeks, the demand for accountability and auditing of the funds by citizens is met with different responses mainly focusing on auditing.

“Accountability is not the same as auditing. Auditing, however, is an important end point activity in the continuous process of accountability. Accountability is a continuous process of showing transparency, disclosures and using public funds to ensure value for the funds now and into the future. Accountability involves keeping of records, making the records available and spending in accordance with relevant laws and policies.” He explained.

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The renowned Economist further explained that, when all these are done then an audit takes place to confirm or otherwise and give an independent opinion including recommendation to improve the process that constitutes accountability. An accountable person is therefore willing to spend public funds in transparent manner and from time to time disclose how , when and why public funds were spent.

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The request by citizens to disclose statements of expenditure and suppliers of items purchased to deal with Coronavirus in Ghana is not about auditing but candid provision of information and auditing.

Considering all aspects of the strategy to fight Coronavirus as a project , demands progress report to citizens.
Auditing normally is conducted at the end of the process but accountability begins from the start to the end.

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“From the above, the Thursday mid-year review of the budget is part of the accountability process that should decisively provide detail disclosures about the Coronavirus expenditure and programs report to Ghanaians” He added.


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