We have asked this question before and yet it bears repeating until the nation gets a satisfactory answer, or even better action: Why is Parliament not acting on reports from the Auditor-General? In the latest exposes she has revealed that parastatal bosses continue to earn massive salaries in spite of a State directive for them to bring their remuneration to sustainable levels. She has also recently pointed out at anomalies in local authority financial management as well as other areas which should be addressed as a matter of urgency if the anti-corruption fight is to bear dividends.
The incumbent is playing her role, but the lack of support and logical follow ups from the relevant institutions mean that her efforts are being wasted. As there is no resultant action from her reports this means in reality the State is wasting resources in funding the Auditor-General’s office to generate the reports.
For what is the point of knowing where the rotten apples are if they are going to remain in the barrel? Perhaps it is better to just close the office and not raise the ire of the public by exposing the irregularities some of which appear to be outright criminal when everyone knows that the malpractices will continue unabated.
The message being touted by the silence on the Auditor-General’s reports is nothing will ever rock your boat if you are lucky enough to be a big-wig in State institution as long as you have a thick skin and can ride the media waves when the Auditor-General or any other source exposes your misdeeds.
The police is on record saying that they would not react to media reports and would only move in to arrest alleged criminals if they get complaints through official systems. We have several organisations purporting to offer legal and other services to citizens staffed by legal hawks.
Why are they not mounting a class challenge representing the citizens of this country who are really the rightful complainants because the money being stolen belongs to the taxpayer with Government being the custodian?
If the system is not working, it should be challenged. It is our understanding that the Parliament which hears the reports has the powers to set in motion steps that would see the rot rooted out and where possible prosecution of the culprits. But their inertia baffles the mind.
Parliament should compel the Prosecutor-General to take the evidence presented and instruct the police to act. As the office holders to whom the reports are presented surely Members of Parliament should feel the burning urge to use their positions to bring about positive action.
But it appears that our Members of Parliament are content to be vocal in house debates, but when it comes to the crunch, they fail to take decisive action. Otherwise they would be clamouring for action from the various arms of Government including relevant ministries instead of spending most of their time in acrimonious debates that lead nowhere.
We want to challenge the firebrands in the house to take up this cause and bring about justice for the Joe Public. If there are legal impediments to the relevant parties taking action on the Auditor-General’s reports which the general public may not be aware of, then maybe Parliament needs to be seized with those immediately so that we see an end to the rife abuse of office.
We have also previously raised the question of what the Prosecutor-General’s role is if it is not to act as the chief prosecutor of Government.
Why is that office not pushing for the prosecution of alleged culprits? What sort of report does the Auditor-General need to produce to incite alarm in all these important offices?