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Auditor-General Cries Over GH₵505m Loss
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Ghana is reported to have lost a whopping amount of GH₵505,179,134.55 in the year 2015, a report of the Auditor-General on the Public Accounts of Ghana over Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for the financial year ended December 31, 2015, has revealed.

The loss came about as a result of financial weaknesses and other irregularities captured under seven broad categories which include; Cash irregularities; outstanding debts/loans; payroll irregularities; tax irregularities; contract irregularities; stores/procurement irregularities; and rent payment irregularities.

The Auditor-General, Richard Q. Quartey, Kapapafmonline.com understands, is not happy about the development and therefore, has made a passionate appeal to the Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Prof. Aaron Michael Oquaye to ensure that measures are put in place to nib the canker in the bud.

Cash Irregularities

Records available to Kasapafmonline.com indicate that Ghana lost GH₵47,629,013.32 through cash irregularities during the period under review. The irregularities, according to the Auditor-General’s report cut across MDAs and were attributable to unapproved/unjustified disbursement, dishonored cheques, unaccounted revenue, unsupported payment vouchers, unauthorized transfer, transferred funds to bank not credited and unpresented payment vouchers.

The rest are payment of public funds into personal bank account, belated/non-lodgment of public funds, unaccounted funds, misapplication of funds, unauthorized use of IGF to defray loan and unauthorized use of IGF.

Worried over this development, the Auditor-General wants heads of MDAs to continue to strengthen their controls over the collection and disbursement of cash and other funds and ensure strict adherence to the provision of the Financial Administration Act, 2003 (Act 654) and the Financial Administration Regulation, 2004 (LI 1802).

Tax irregularities

Total tax irregularities recorded during the year under review amounted to GH₵305,417,021.42. The irregularities, according to the report, could be traced mainly to failure on the part of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to collect tax revenue and also to apply measures and sanctions stipulated in Sections 135(2) and 136 of the Internal Revenue Act, 2000 (Act 592) for tax administration.

Due to this lapse, management of the GRA has been advised to strengthen their monitoring and supervision work of their subordinate staff and other schedule officers. They have also been tasked to take steps to improve efficiency in tax administration and collection and follow up on overdue taxes while applying sanctions as prescribed by the tax laws.

Stores and procurement Irregularities

Stores and procurement irregularities during the period under review also cost the nation an amount of GH₵20,623,604.46. This amount, according to the Auditor-General, represents 4.06% of the total irregularities during the period under review. The irregularities were due mainly to failure on the part of MDAs to follow procurement procedures prescribed in the Public Procurement Act by failing to obtain required number of quotations, splitting of procurement contracts, exceeding authorized threshold, as well as short supply of computers and payment for goods not supplied among others.

Payroll Irregularities

Payroll roll irregularities recorded during the period under review also amounted to GH₵1,595,071.13. This was due mainly to payments of unearned salaries to separated staff as a result of delays in deleting their names from the payroll and delay in transferring unclaimed pensions and salaries to Government chest by the banks. The Auditor-General advising on the issue recommended intensification of coordination between Finance and Human Resource Units with MDAs in their responsibility for payroll management and the prevention as well as recovery of unearned salaries paid to unauthorized personnel.

Outstanding Loans/Debts

Outstanding loans and or debts amounted GH₵77,857,099.61, representing 15.42% of the total irregularities recorded by the Auditor-General during the period under review. This was mainly made up of a one off grant of US$16,000,000.00 from EDAIF given out as loan and sale of tractor and equipment to individual and groups which have not been paid.

Contract Irregularities

Contract irregularities also amounted to GH₵51,941,818.68. This involved abandoned projects, delay in the execution of projects, shoddy constructional works, non-execution of works after payment of mobilization among others.

Rent Irregularities

Rent irregularities recorded during the period under review also amounted to GH₵115,505.93. According to the Auditor-General’s report, this was mainly due to defaulted and uncollected rents due and non-payment of rent due on Government bungalows.

Source: kasapafmonline.com

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