A whopping sum inching GH¢5.2billion has been lost in the public sector as a result of various financial irregularities.
Auditor General, Mr. Daniel Yaw Domelevo has disclosed that the overall financial impact of weaknesses and irregularities identified between a period of four years amounted to GH¢5,196,081,899.94.
This figure is contained in the Annual Report of the Auditor-General on the Public Accounts of Ghana, Ministries, Departments and Other Agencies (MDAs) for the year ending, December 31, 2018 which is to be laid before Ghana’s Parliament.
The report which was has been prepared under Section 11 of the Audit Service Act, 2000 for presentation to Parliament in accordance with Section 20 of the Act, found chiefly weaknesses and irregularities under seven main categories.
The categories are; Tax Irregularities, Cash Irregularities, Outstanding debts/loans, Payroll Irregularities, Stores/Procurement Irregularities, Rent payment Irregularities and Contract Irregularities.
Breakdown of the components of the Financial Irregularities
The chunck of the crookedness came from Tax Irregularities, which accounted for GH¢4,788,284,799.00, representing 92.15% of the total financial irregularities discovered between 2014 and 2018.
These irregularities according to the Auditor General could be attributed mainly to failure on the part of the Ghana Revenue Authority to collect tax revenue and also apply measures and sanctions against defaulters.
Total cash irregularities noted during the period amounted to GH¢388,925,019.94 which represented 7.48% of the total irregularities.
The Auditor General attributed these irregularities which cut across MDAs to the following infractions: unapproved disbursement, unauthorised use of IGF, dishonoured cheques, unaccounted for revenue, unsupported payment vouchers, unauthorised transfers of funds, funds to bank not credited, payment of public funds into personal bank accounts, belated/non-lodgement of public funds and misapplication of funds.
On outstanding loans/advances, the report noted that a significant amount of the irregularity was GH¢191,000 advances granted some staff at Tepa Nursing and Midwifery Training College but remained unrecovered.
Payroll irregularities amounting to GH¢1,875,347 was recorded during the period reviewed. The total payroll irregularity was GH¢792,571 paid to 91 separated staff between January 2011 and October 2018 at the Kibi, Tafo and Koforidua treasuries.
Meanwhile, Stores and procurement irregularities noted during the period amounted to GH¢6,823,337. This irregularity came through to value books printed by CAGD on behalf of MDAs most of which were not collected for use.
The total rent irregularity was GH¢3,941,756, while the total contract irregularities reported was GH¢5,598,252.00.
The irregularities represent either losses that had been incurred by the State through the impropriety or lack of probity in the actions and decisions of public officers.
Savings that could have been made, if public officials and institutions had duly observed the public financial management framework put in place to guide their conduct and also safeguard national assets and resources, also accounted to the losses.
Owing to this situation, the Auditor General has put together recommendations and requested that the report be laid before Parliament for its consideration.