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Audit Report Exposes Rot At Ministry   
 
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20-Jul-2009  
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An audit report on the management of funds at the Ministry of Information and National Orientation for the period October 2006 to December 2008 has established the loss of several millions of Ghana cedis through various acts of malfeasance perpetrated at the ministry.

The report, released by the Audit Service, a copy of which is available to the Daily Graphic, also reveals that 22 vehicles belonging to the ministry either did not have any documents covering them or had documents vesting ownership in the names of the vendors who sold them to the ministry. It also found that a Tata pick-up, with registration number GN 7903 Y, bought by the ministry in 2008 had been illegally appropriated by Ms Catherine Afeku, a former Spokesperson of the Ministry of Information. “We recommend that the ministry use the security agencies to retrieve the vehicle from Ms Afeku immediately. She should be surcharged for the duration the vehicle has been in her possession,” the report recommended.


Giving a breakdown of the funds lost to the ministry, the report said “the ministry failed to demand accountability for the funds totalling GH˘1,663,728.11 released to the Information Services Department (ISD) for public education programmes and other official assignments. “We recommend to management to ensure that the releases are accounted for, failing which the officers who received the funds should be surcharged,” it said. “The ministry misapplied GH˘35,000 earmarked for government strategic communication on the Ghana @50 celebrations. We recommend to management to strictly adhere to budgetary control measures and procedures,” it added.


The report also uncovered shortage of various store items amounting to GH˘33,957.65 and recommended that the storekeeper be held liable and made to refund the amount. “Management should also ensure that quarterly or half yearly stocktaking is conducted in order to curb future occurrences,” it noted. The report also uncovered an additional GH˘10,988 emanating from the irregular issue of store items from unauthorised insertions and recommended that the storekeeper refund the money and be transferred from the ministry.“The ministry misapplied the service vote of GH˘16,287.80 to pay for an investment project regarding the extension of cable network from the ministry to the Accounts Printing and Treasury blocks,” it said, and urged management to adhere to budgetary control measures.


“VAT totalling GH˘2,666.50 charged by five companies was not supported by VAT invoices and receipts,” it noted, and urged the companies to either show evidence of having remitted the said amounts to the VAT Service or the service should recover the amounts from them. The report said Bankole Construction Ltd was paid GH˘3,126.00 for undelivered stationery and recommended that the ministry should recover the money from the company. Additionally, it cited the New Coco Beach Resort as having been overpaid by GH˘585.60 for a residential workshop and urged the ministry to contact the resort for a refund of the money.


The report expressed misgivings at the lack of vigilance and lax supervision over the ISD, as well as other transactions, by the management of the ministry and urged that greater interest and commitment be shown by leadership in protecting state resources and the national interest.It noted that the non-adherence to rules and regulations by management led to the diversion and misapplication of HIPC and other funds of the ministry. The report also expressed misgivings at the movement of vehicles and the use of the log book and noted that journeys undertaken were not recorded and that fuel coupons worth GH˘130,000 issued were not accounted for in the log books. It urged that fuel coupons issued to vehicles, as well as the movement of those vehicles, be entered into their respective log books to help check malfeasance.
 
 
Source: Daily Guide
 
 

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