State funding of parties audited accounts advocated

A governance consultant Kwesi Afriyie Badu has expressed worry over the flippant flouting of political parties laws by parties in the country.

With the exception of the Democratic People’s Party, all the 14 registered political parties, including the two main parties – NPP and NDC – had, with impunity, disobeyed laws requiring them to submit their up-to-date audited accounts to the Electoral Commission (EC).

The General Secretary of the ruling National Democratic Congress, Johnson Asiedu-Nketia told Joy News the party has not been able to live up to that expectation because the party is cash-strapped and cannot employ a competent accountant and auditor to conduct a thorough audit of the party’s finances.

The General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, told Asempa News the inability of the NPP to present its audit reports from 2008 to 2010 to the EC was due to the change of leadership in the party.

But the Chief Executive Officer of KAB Governance Consult Kwesi Afriyie Badu told Joy News some of the reasons being assigned to their failure are “very, very unfortunate,”.

“I think that Looking at the money that they spend on campaigns, looking at the money that they have invested to do all kinds of things, it will be unfortunate [if they don’t comply with the laws].”

Even with the submitted accounts, Mr Afriyie Badu was not enthused about the “weakness” of the EC to scrutinize them to ascertain the authenticity and credibility of the audited accounts.

He partly blamed the EC for not also working hard to ensure that political parties submit their accounts promptly.

He said in 2007 during an IPAC meeting in Akosombo, “The parties agreed with the EC, that the EC should develop a format that should make it easier for political parties to submit their accounts…I doubt whether that thing has been done as at now.”

He revived calls for political parties to be funded by the state, stressing that with such a law in place, money from the public fund could be used to pay for the services of a qualified auditor to audit the accounts of the political parties.

“When we talk of state funding [political parties] …we are not saying we should send monies to the political parties, no. we are saying that, for example, we could pay the Auditor-General to audit political parties.”