¢17.4bn in financial irregularities recorded in 2021 – Auditor-General

A total of ¢17.4 billion in financial irregularities have been flagged by the Auditor-General in its latest report submitted to parliament for the 2021 financial year.

This represents a 36% rise compared to that of 2020. This is the conclusion reached by the Auditor-General after an audit of the accounts of at least 101 institutions.

Similar audit reports conducted on institutions in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 show irregularities to the tune of GH₵ 12 billion, GH₵3 billion, GH₵ 5.4 billion, GH₵ 12.8 billion respectively.

The GH₵ 4.6 billion increase for the year 2021 is blamed mainly on credit power sales of GH¢6 billion involving Volta River Authority and Northern Electricity Development Company (NEDCO).

“This was occasioned mainly by credit power sales of GH¢6,043,083,274.01 to VRA and NEDCo customers. We recommended strict implementation of our recommendations to ensure financial discipline in the management of public resources”, the audit report stated.

This comprises the sale of power to mines, ministries, departments and agencies and government’s Covid-19 relief program.

Failure by management to document agreements covering some of these transactions as well as following through to recover the monies have been cited as the reasons for the situation, per the report.

The Auditor General wants the two power sector players to step up efforts to recover these monies.

The report cites the Covid-19 National Trust Fund for failing to account for an amount of GH¢254,203.00 spent on the procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). This was money paid to the Covid-19 Private Sector Fund for the Procurement

“On the contrary, our vouching disclosed that out of GH¢10,257,360 paid via payment voucher number 0590507 dated 16 June 2020 to Ghana Covid-19 Private Sector Fund, a private organization for the procurement of Medical Equipment and Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), only GH¢10,003,157 had been accounted for with an outstanding amount of GH¢254,203.00 not accounted for as at 31 December 2020.”

Source: Joseph Ackah-Blay

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