The 2022 Auditor-General’s report has supposedly uncovered more than GH¢15.1 billion in financial irregularities in the operations of public boards, corporations and other statutory institutions.
According to a report by graphic.com.gh, the GH¢15.1 billion financial irregularities recorded in 2022 represents a GH¢2.4 billion reduction from the 2021 figure of GH¢17.48 billion.
The Auditor-General’s report noted that in addition to the GH¢15.1 billion infractions, which are recoverable, administrative infractions of GH¢47.28 million were found in the operations of public boards and corporations.
The report added that GH¢47.28 million administrative infractions are only 0.31 per cent of the total irregularities at the boards and corporations of state agencies.
The administrative infractions cannot be recovered and it included procurement and other irregularities.
They were mainly found in the area of outstanding debts, loans, amounts recoverable, cash, payroll, procurement, tax, stores and contracts.
The report indicated that Auditor-General, Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu, ordered the agencies involved to ensure strict implementation of its recommendations to ensure financial discipline in the management of public resources.
Below are the recommendations from the Auditor-General
“We recommended that management of public boards, corporations, and other statutory institutions should strictly adhere to rules and regulations with regard to debts management,” the report stressed.
“They should also put in place proper policies for the management of loans and other receivables as well as ensuring that loans and debts are repaid on due dates to avoid or minimise the occurrence of bad debts,” the report further stated.
Poor oversight, non-existent controls
Cash irregularities related to the misapplication of funds, payments not authenticated and the payment of board allowances to Council Members without ministerial approval.
Out of the GH¢23.51 million cash irregularities, GH¢14,47 million, came from unrecovered staff advances paid to employees of the Ghana Water Company Limited.
The report emphasised that the irregularities occurred because of poor oversight responsibility and non-existent controls.
Other factors that contributed to cash irregularities were finance officers’ failure to properly file and keep records.