The General Secretary of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) says the ruling party is cash-strapped and cannot employ a competent accountant and auditor to conduct a thorough audit of the party’s finances.
That accounts for the failure of the party to live up to its constitutional duty to submit annual audited accounts to the Electoral Commission.
Johnson Asiedu Nketiah was responding to calls by the Electoral Commission on all political parties to submit audited reports of their finances, without which their filing of presidential candidates for the next general elections will not be accepted.
Deputy Commissioner in charge of Finance at the EC, Mr David Adenze Kanga said the EC will no longer accommodate political parties who play truant in submitting their financial reports.
He said the EC is dialoguing with the parties for them to submit their reports or face action.
But the General Secretary of the NDC, Asiedu Nketia said the EC must be lenient with the parties because all of them do not have the capacity to employ competent personnel to conduct effective and thorough auditing of their accounts.
“Go to the other parties, some parties do not even have accountants; they don’t have personnel who will be able to prepare the accounts and even after preparing the accounts they don’t even have the resources to engage an auditor to present them in such a way they can be submitted to the Electoral Commission,” Nketia told Joy News’ Sammy Darko.
He said the EC must perceive failure by the parties to submit financial reports as “issues of capacity rather than the intention of any political party wanting to hide information from the system.”
Asked how the party in power could claim it lacked the capacity to employ a competent accountant to audit its finances, the General Secretary said: “When the party is in power, what makes it have resources? I am telling you that we lack the capacity to even engage a competent accountant. Go and ask the NPP if they have a Chartered Accountant? Then come to NDC whether we have a competent accountant.”
He said the state must be interested in providing resources for political parties which are the building blocks of the country’s democracy to function properly.
But the General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie debunked the assertion the NPP has been derelict in providing its audited accounts with the Electoral Commission.
He said it doesn’t take much for a party to conduct thorough accounts of its finances.
“It doesn’t take money to engage the services of auditors to audit your account. As political parties we have lots of people who are prepared to devote their time, effort and energy to support us,” he said.
“Our 2007, 2008 and 2009 audited accounts are all ready for signature,” he added.
He said the 2010 is also ready but because of his excessive traveling, he has not looked at them.
But in a seeming contradiction the General Secretary said the NPP has already submitted the 2007, 2008 audited accounts to the Electoral Commission, insisting the party is about to submit the 2009, 2010 reports.
Source Citifmonline Ghana