The Ministry of Finance has emerged as the ministry with the highest level of fiscal recklessness between 2015 and 2020.
This is according to data from the Fiscal Recklessness Index 2020 report released by Imani Center for Policy and Education and Oxfam Ghana, which ranked financial irregularities for Ministries, Departments, and Agencies within the five-year period.
During a presentation at the launch of the report, a research consultant with Imani, Dennis Asare disclosed that the Ministry recorded more than GH¢11 billion in losses to the state.
Mr. Asare said the report shows that the Ministry has consistently appeared as the most reckless institution.
He clarified that the Ministry of Finance captured in its report does not necessarily refer to the Ministry of Finance headquarters.
“When we say Ministry of Finance in the Auditor-General’s report, it includes subsidiary agencies like the GRA, because the Ministry of Finance, beyond its role as a sector ministry, is also a central management entity, that also coordinates the work of other ministries. So sometimes, if there is an irregularity, it also appears in the activities of the Ministry of Finance. Key institutions that came out strongly were the GRA and the Controller and Accountant General’s Department,” he explained.
The research consultant noted that commercial banks who collect tax revenue on behalf of government fail to lodge the funds based on the time frame provided by the PFM Act, which is one of the major issues that government faced.
“Overall, this is the fiscal recklessness of the 29 MDAs in Ghana. The recklessness or the financial cost of the recklessness of the Ministries Departments and Agencies are increasing as compared to 2010 and 2014,” he added.
The policy think tank also observed that the current public financing system is not delivering efficiency.
“If you compare 2010 to 2014, the financial cost of the recklessness of MDAs to the period 2015 and 2020, you see that the recklessness has increased by about 13 times. So between 2010 and 2014, the financial cost of irregularity was about 1.4 billion, but between 2015 and 2020 it is about 13.9 billion which shows that the Public Financial System that we have, to some extent, is not delivering the level of efficiency.”
The Ministry of Health was also ranked as the second most financially reckless institution in the country.