Two government agencies that appeared before the sole commission for judgment debts Wednesday, February 13, could also not provide all the documents requested of them.
It comes a day after the commission issued an ultimatum to the Bank of Ghana to provide similar supporting documents it could not supply when it appeared yesterday. The commission is however confident, despite the hitches the final outcome of its work will make a big difference.
Counsel for Judgment Debt Commission, Dometi Kofi Sopkor, explained the Commission has a duty to help government put in place legislation to guide payment of judgment debt to companies and individuals. “We are not only finding out the causes of these judgment debts but at the end, we are going to make recommendations to the government to put in place legislation that would assist government institutions to come out with measures that would nib in the bud situations related to judgment debts.”
He further stated the Commission can also recommend prosecution for appropriate agencies.
The representatives of the Controller and Accountant General's Department and the Ministry of Finance who appeared on Wednesday could not supply enough documentation to cover the entire twenty-year period under review.
Deputy Controller and Accountant General in charge of treasury, James Ntim Amponsah, came along with documents from 1999 to 2007. He cited challenges with the retrieval of documents covering payments between 1993 and 1998 which had also been requested by the Commission.
The Ministry of Finance on the other hand produced a list pay vouchers issued from 2000 to 2012 including pay vouchers for 2012.
Chief Economic Officer, Kwadwo Awua-Peasah, who stood in for the new Chief Director said “payments done through Ministry of Finance are claims the Attorney General has advised us to pay be it judgment debt or settlements.”
Counsel for the Commission, Dometi Kofi Sopkor, later lamented the country's poor record keeping culture. “We have realized in the course of this exercise that in this country we do not keep proper records. When records are transferred to the National Archives, at times the manner in which they are kept is not done properly. So when owners of the documents want them back, it becomes a problem.”
The commission has meanwhile, adjourned sitting indefinitely to allow members to study documents gathered so far.