Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu is unhappy with the Auditor-General’s decision to reject the Chief of Staff’s request for the conduct of an audit verification that will pave the way for payment of salary arrears to be made to over 200 former and current Members of Parliament.
Daniel Domelevo had described the request of the former MPs as invalid and amounting to a conflict of interest given that most of the beneficiaries were now serving as members of the current government, including the President and the Chief of Staff.
Mr. Mensah Bonsu on Eyewitness News, however, clarified that contrary to the Auditor General’s assertion, just about four Members of Parliament from the Majority would have benefitted from the payments.
“I think it is really an unfortunate comment to come from the Auditor General. Indeed with respect to our side, Members of Parliament who would otherwise come for consideration if anything should be done would have been only three or four. On the other [Minority] side, we have many more.”
The Suame legislator argued that the Auditor-General should have considered “whether payments made to some Members of Parliament were enough”, instead of raising issues with conflict of interest.
Frema Osei Opare’s request was based on a letter from a group known as Forum for Former Members of Parliament.
The former MPs, some of whom left Parliament over 10 years ago, were requesting the payment of arrears of salaries and emoluments amounting to over GH¢29.7 million.
The Auditor-General had however said that because some of the MPs on the list for salary arrears were under investigation for receiving double salaries, it will not be right to pay any further monies to them.
“It is also a public knowledge that some MPs were or are undergoing police investigations for receiving double salaries which implies overpayment but several of the names are included in the list for additional payment submitted by FFMPs per Office of the President letter dated 22nd April 2020,” he said.
He added that “It is my considered opinion that the Former MPs are not entitled to what they are asking for, but it also came to me as a big surprise that our honourable former MPs are making such a request at time of a pandemic which has taken the entire world by surprise.”