Judgement debts are caused by poor contractual implementation processes and failure to heed the Auditor-General’s advice before some state institutions sign contracts, Diana Asonaba Dapaah, the Deputy Auditor-General has said.
Speaking at a roundtable discussion, she explained, “The A-G’s office is sometimes not involved in the negotiations and discussions leading to the execution of some agreements. In some instances, I am afraid to say, the opinion of the office is not sought prior to the execution of agreements, irrespective of the reservations raised by the office.”
Asonaba Dapaah stated that the abrogation of a contractual agreement between the state and a party is one of the issues that normally take the government to the court or arbitral tribunals.
She stressed that it sometimes becomes difficult for her outfit to defend the state because some government agencies and ministries do not involve her outfit in contractual agreements.
She said, “Defending the public purse in a situation where there is little or no information or support coming from the institution or ministry involved also poses a great challenge, and we at the office of the A-G do not exist as state machinery with a magical wand to wipe away contractual breaches or judgement debt after they have occurred.
“We may have our very rare shortcomings in meeting some procedural obligations in international arbitration proceedings which, more often than not, boil down to the fact that we are handicapped.”
Diana Asonaba Dapaah, however, called for some measures that can deal with judgement debts devoid of politics in order to protect the public purse for accelerated development of the country.
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