It has emerged that Ghana lost more than GhC505 million through the activities of Ministries, Districts and Agencies (MDAs) in the year 2015.
The amount according to the Auditor General’s report, was from financial weaknesses in cash, tax, payroll, procurement, rent and contract irregularities as well as outstanding debts and loans.
The Health Ministry according to the report, recorded the highest financial irregularity of more than Ghc25 million.
[contextly_sidebar id=”cifpVgx0l8BJaHeinK2g6IcoQ9SVIoLC”]Payroll irregularities contributed significantly to the figure, as almost Ghc600, 000 unearned salaries were paid.
On the payroll irregularities, the report said “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 further recommended that, coordination between Finance and Human Resource Units within MDAs be intensified for prevention of such situations “as well as recovery of unearned salaries paid to unauthorized personnel.”
The Deputy Minister for Health, Kingsley Aboagye Gyadu, in a Citi News interview after the hearing on Wednesday, said that every ministry will device a mechanism to retrieve all such monies.
“This issue of unearned salary and infractions are almost always common. The unearned salaries are losses to the state, but unsupported payments meant that when the auditors were there, they didn’t see the supporting documents. When we are talking about supporting documents we mean invoices, vouchers, receipts were not provided to the auditors at the time they were doing the audit. But like we said, subsequently they have been provided, the auditors have looked at it and they are okay.”
“With regards to the unearned salaries, I’m going to meet the facilities that had that problem; we will find a way of getting the people to pay back to the government,” he added.
Ghana loses millions yearly
Reports from the Auditor General’s Department had shown that the country loses millions every year through the activities of MDAs, as well as the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies.
This compelled pressure group, OccupyGhana, to drag the Auditor General to the Supreme Court for an order, directing the Auditor General to surcharge persons who cause such financial infractions.
According to Occupy Ghana, a thorough study of the Auditor General’s report revealed that, between 2003 and 2014, the total losses the state incurred in “irregularities” arising from Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies was about GH¢2,448,968,912.29.
Retrieve ‘looted’ state cash – Supreme Court orders Auditor General
The Supreme Court in June 2017, ordered the Auditor General to, with immediate effect; begin surcharging persons found to have misappropriated monies belonging to the state.
By: Godwin Akweiteh Allotey & Caleb Kudah/citifmonline.com/Ghana