In August this year, the Head of Local Government Service, Dr Nana Ato Arthur, was reported to have advised heads and staff of the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to work towards eliminating the financial infractions captured by the Auditor-General's report of the previous year.
"We need to look at the causes of these infractions and how we will be able to resolve them.
"Every year, there are infractions. Is it that we are not learning from the reports that come from the Auditor-General's Department or from the audit reports or it is just that people are not being sanctioned for the wrong that they are doing?, he was quoted as asking.
The Auditor-General's report that Dr Arthur was referring to was that of 2018 which captured a lot of infractions by staff of the MMDAs.
Again, at a two-day refresher training for 112 internal auditors of the MMDAs and Regional Coordinating Councils (RCCs), last weekend, Dr Arthur lamented the continued infractions and this time he was forthright in telling the staff that very soon, the LGS would begin sanctioning those involve in committing the infractions.
The head of the service who may have been frustrated with the frequent discovery of financial infractions in the MMDAs and RCCs hinted that the service would soon sanction staff for the infractions.
That, he said would help the service to reduce or stop the practice.
The Auditor General has consistently noted the increase and recurring financial infractions at the MMDAs and RCCs which had gone unpunished.
The Ghanaian Times is concerned that up until now, staff of the MMDAs and RCCs who commit the infractions are allowed to go unpunished. It is not surprising, therefore, that the practice has become almost impossible to stop.
The staff, especially those in charge of the finances of the various assemblies and the Regional Coordinating Council continue to be negligent leading to malpractices.
We are of the view that punishing those involved in malpractices is long overdue and we are happy that the head of the service is determined to crack the whip.
We would encourage him to walk the talk by punishing those who have been cited in the report to serve as a deterrent to others.
In fact, the country has paid lip service to punishing corrupt public servants which have emboldened many to indulge in the practice knowing that there would be no punishment for such negative practices.
It is our hope that Dr Arthur's comments would not turn out to be a mere public statement that would not be carried out as has been the case in the past.
We are looking forward to seeing the staff sanctioned according to law in order to ensure high level of professionalism in the discharge of their duties.
In that way, the country could be saved from various financial infractions that impact negatively on the sustainable development of the country.