AG exposes Finance Ministry over GH¢697 million “chop chop”
The public accounts of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for the financial year ended December 31, 2017 have revealed that the overall financial impact of weaknesses and irregularities discovered by the Auditor-General amounted to over GH¢892 million.
The breakdown is: tax irregularities GH¢655 million; cash irregularities GH¢190 million; stores/procurement irregularities GH¢41 million; payroll irregularities GH¢1.7 million; outstanding loans/advances GH¢2.6 million ; and rent irregularities GH¢195 million.
Finance Ministry tops with GH¢697m
The Finance and Economic Planning Ministry recorded the highest irregularities, amounting to GH¢697 million. It is followed by the Employment and Labour Relations ministry with GH¢l35 million.
The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection corded GH¢25 million (GH¢25,561,177) as the third highest figure. The Health Ministry accounted for the fourth highest irregularities of GH¢21 million.
Others MDAs found culpable include
Interior Ministry GH¢2.8 million
Communication Ministry – GH¢2.4 million
Trade and lndustry ministry-GH¢1.1 million
Local Government and Rural Development Ministry – GH¢1.2 million
Ministry of Agriculture – GH¢1.7 million
Education Ministry GH¢743,721.
Chieftaincy Ministry GH¢ 142,916
Fisheries Ministry – GH¢54,747
Defence ministry – GH¢39,099
Lands and Natural Resources – GH¢96,006
Ministry of House and Housing – GH¢16,887
Roads and Highways – GH¢395,773
Ministry of Justice and Attorney-General’s Department – GH¢6,371
Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources – GH¢65,124
Information Ministry – GH¢16,366
Judicial Service – GH¢902,107
Office of Government Machinery GH¢107,642.
In the report, which has been submitted to Parliament, the Auditor-General, Daniel Yaw Domelevo, pledged to investigate these further and, if possible, hold the officials accountable by way of disallowing the items of expenditure and surcharge.
Tax irregularities GH¢655m
According to the report, tax irregularities constitute 73.46% of the total financial infraction reported.
The amount includes , GH¢11.5 million which was in respect of Prestea Sankofa Limited’s mineral royalties indebtedness to the government as of August 2016 and which had remained uncollected by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) since 2012.
Ghana Revenue Authority’s failures
It noted that these irregularities could be traced mainly to failure on the part of the GRA to collect tax revenue and also apply measures and sanctions against defaulters as stipulated in Paragraph 40 and 41 of the Income Tax Act 2015, (Act 896) Sections 135(2) and 136 of the Internal Revenue Act, 2000 (Act 592).