2016 AG Report: Over Two Billion Cedis Financial Irregularities Uncovered

The overall financial impact of “weaknesses and irregularities” identified in the public amounted to GH¢2,165,542,375.14, according to the 2016 Auditor’s General report.

The “weaknesses and irregularities” were categorised under seven broad headings and they are; Tax, Cash, Outstanding debts/loans, Payroll, Contract, Rent and Stores/Procurement irregularities.

Cash irregularities top the list with GH¢2,053,622,215.68 representing 95% of the total irregularities.

“These irregularities which cut across MDAs were attributable to the underlisted incidences among others: Unapproved/unjustified disbursement, Dishonoured cheques, Unaccounted revenue, Unsupported payment vouchers, Unauthorised transfers and Funds to bank not credited.

The rest are; Unpresented payment vouchers, Payment of public funds into personal bank accounts, Belated/non-lodgement of public funds, Unaccounted funds, Misapplication of funds and Unauthorised use of IGF.

Out of the GH¢2,053,622,215.68, GH¢1,561,434,333.31 was withdrawn from the Petroleum revenue accounts “without the knowledge of TOR [Tema Oil Refinery] management,” said the report compiled by the Daniel Domelevo the Auditor General.

On Tax, the report uncovered a financial rot of GH¢42,866,490.70. “Included in this tax irregularity was 100 registered VAT traders who filed their returns at the MTO and STO but owed a total of GH¢11,934,957.00 as at December 2015,”said the report.

According to the report, “the irregularities could be traced mainly to failure on the part of the Ghana Revenue Authority to collect tax revenue and also apply measures and sanctions stipulated in Sections 135(2) and 136 of the Internal Revenue Act, 2000 (Act 592) for tax administration.”

On Stores/Procurement, the Auditor General reported that an amount of GH¢35,940,445.43 was misapplied. GH¢23,450,000.49 from that amount was involved in procurement of 46,600 units of Street lighting Lamps from Vision and Sports Enterprise by the Ministry of Local Government, but was not paid for after delivery on 18 July 2016 and 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 and exceeding authorised thresholds.

Payroll irregularities amounting to GH¢4,381,994.51 was recorded during the period under review and was due mainly to payments of “unearned Salaries” to separated staff as a result of “delays” in deleting their names from the payroll as well as delay in transferring unclaimed pensions and salaries to Government chest by the banks.

On Outstanding loans/debts, the Auditor General reported GH¢6,775,974.47 was misapplied and a significant amount of “this irregularity” was a support in the form of agricultural inputs such as certified seeds, fertilizers, herbicides and vehicles to motivate farmers expand their farms which the farmers had failed to pay.

Contract irregularities noted during the period under review said the Auditor General amounted to GH¢13,006,034.86 which included GH¢12,476,152.86 as contract sum for six projects awarded by Department of Urban Roads, Accra. It also covered abandoned projects, delay in the execution, shoddy constructional works and non-execution of works after payment of mobilisation.

On the final category which is Rent irregularities the Auditor General stated that GH¢9,049,219.49 was recorded and out of it was a total indebtedness of GH¢6,657,597.90 by institutions and 18 individuals in respect of ground and staff rent in the Sekondi Metropolis.

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