Officials of District Assemblies mismanage GH¢120.56 million

155

The Auditor-General Mr. Daniel Yaw Domelevo, in his report to Parliament on the Management and Utilisation of the District Assemblies’ Common Fund and Other Statutory Funds for the financial year ended 31 December 2018 reported that deficiencies noted in the operations of the Assemblies created avenues for some officials to mismanage funds and resources of the Assemblies to a financial value of GH¢120.56 million.

These lapses and deficiencies were identified in transactions under areas such as cash management, contract, procurement and store and tax irregularities. The findings in the report were not different from the previous year’s and bothered on violations of rules, regulations and directives. The irregularities for 2018 amounting to GH¢79,637,897.24 represented 194.6% increase of the 2017 figure of GH¢40,929,999.54.

Cash irregularities in the sum of GH¢47,139,747.82 occurred at 225 Assemblies. These irregularities included funds not accounted for, payments not properly supported with relevant documentation to authenticate the transactions and unretired funds.

The audit reported on contract irregularities such as completed projects not in use, projects which were either abandoned or their execution significantly delayed as well as payments for construction works with no evidence of execution. He also stated that the Assemblies awarded fresh projects when earlier ones had not been completed leading to suspension of works as a result of nonpayment of works certificates.

In some cases, Management either did not ensure that the Contractors operated with performance bonds covering the period of the contracts or enforced them where they existed. This irregularity allowed the Contractors to execute the projects at will or in some cases, abandoned them. In other instances, the Assemblies had completed projects that were not put to use as a result of non-availability of water and electricity connection, furnishing or of projects at inaccessible places.

The AG reported that procurement and stores irregularities amounted to GH¢7,356,299.95. Even though some of these irregularities did not result in outright losses, they represented violations of the Procurement Law and Financial Administration Regulation. Procurement irregularities noted in the year increased from GH¢2,437,094.30 in 2017 to GH¢7,356,299.95 in 2018 representing 202 per cent increase.

Finally, Mr. Domelevo reported that tax irregularities with a total value of GH¢452,983.31 were noted in 70 Assemblies.

Click the link below to access a full copy of this report