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Audit Report reveals financial malpractices at Trade and Industry, Local Govt Decentralisation and Rural Dev Ministries

The 2017 audit examination of the Ministry of Trade and Industry revealed that the Ministry failed to lodge non-tax revenue totalling GHS 1,107,000 collected from the Project Managers of Ghana House and GNTC Project between January to November 2016 into the Consolidated Fund.

The Report described as untenable Management’s claim that they used the funds to maintain and renovate the Ghana House Building which they stated was in a deplorable state since it was found out that only GHS 82,978.98 was used to renovate the budding.

The Report however uncovered the use of a colossal sum of the remaining amount of GHS1,023,692 by the Ministry for General Administration expenses, which according to the Auditor-General, was a misapplication as the Ministry was not entitled to retain and use same.

These came to light as top officials of the Ministry led by the Deputy Minister who is also the MP for Akuapem North Nana Dokua Asiamah Adjei made appearance before the Public Accounts Committee hearing of the 2017 Auditor-General’s Report on the Public Accounts of Ghana’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies in Parliament House on Thursday July 01.

Deputy Minority Leader Chairman and MP for Ketu North who chairs the Committee indicated that the practice was a clear violation of Regulation 22 of the Financial Administration Regulations 2004 which requires all public moneys collected to be paid in gross into Public Funds Account without disbursement except as provided by an enactment.

The Committee further noted that applicable rules and procedures were not sufficient to ensure effective check on the Ministry’s tax assessments while monies have been expended for unappropriated purposes and expenditures have been made which were not authorised.

At the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development, it was revealed that essential records have not been maintained, rules and procedures applied were not sufficient to safeguard and control public property, programmes and activities have been undertaken without due regard to efficiency and effectiveness in relation to the resources.

Deputy Minister Osei Bonsu Amoah who deputised for the sector Minister Dan Botwe had a hectic time explaining why the Births and Deaths Registry failed to issue official receipts totalling GHS 304,300 in breach of FAR 2004 which requires public officers who receive public funds to issue official receipts and pay same into relevant Public Funds Accounts.

Officials of the Ministry could not satisfactorily explain why a total imprest of GHS 46,833.16 granted the Regional Community Development Director at Bolgatanga on three separate payment vouchers for the orientation of Research Assistants and Monitoring during the period under review was also not retired.

However, the Committee absolved the Ministry from queries raised by the Auditor-General in respect of unsupported payments vouchers and rent defaulters totalling GHS 114,220 at Cape Coast Regional Co-ordinating Council and outstanding debts at the Department of Rural Housing at Sekondi.

The Committee found out these two Departments which were inadvertently reported under the Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development Ministry by the Auditor-General actually under the ambit of the Ministry of Works and Housing.

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