A-G’s report reveals 20 MDAs overrun budget by GH¢10.6bn

Twenty Ministries, Departments and Agencies overran their budgets by GH¢10,681,060,554 in 2019, the Auditor-General has observed in its report.

Auditor-General’s report

Pulse Ghana

The Appropriation Act, 2018 (Act 984) sets budget limits that require MDAs to keep their expenditure within their appropriation.

However, the Auditor-General’s report said: “Our review of the accounts of 20 MDAs revealed excess expenditures of their goods and services, compensation, and non-financial assets over the revised budget allocation by a total of GH¢2,192,903,767, GH¢5,730,944,462, and GH¢2,757,212,325, respectively”.

It said though Controller and Accountant General (CAGD) argued that the overruns were due to “reallocation of the budget at the entity level and utilisation of [Internally-Generated Funds] (IGF) and other funds, they could not provide any evidence from the Ministry of Finance to corroborate their position”.

To minimise the risk of budget overruns, the Auditor-General urged the CAGD “to ensure strict compliance with the provisions of the PFM Act”.

Meanwhile the report also revealed massive financial irregularities by government boards, corporations and other statutory institutions.

A total amount of GHS5,468,398,431 of financial irregularities was recorded by these institutions for the period ended 31 December 2019.

The audit, which was conducted in accordance with Article 187(2) of the 1992 Constitution, revealed that the following in terms of financial irregularities: Outstanding debtors/loan recoverable (GH¢4,859,727,984), cash irregularities (GH¢215,025,782), payroll irregularities (GH¢ 66,248,946), procurement irregularities (GH¢37,342,867), tax irregularities (GH¢199,651,868), stores irregularities (GH¢2,748,551), and contract irregularities (GH¢87,652,433).

According to the report, the total irregularities of GH¢5,468,398,431 included US$ 4,868,595.34 converted into cedis at the prevailing exchange rate of GH¢5.68 to the US$1 as of 31 December 2019, €299,202.40 converted into cedis at the prevailing exchange rate of GH¢6.37 to the €1 as of 31 December 2019 and £1,564.00 converted into cedis at the prevailing exchange rate of GH¢7.46 to £1 as of 31 December 2019.

The total irregularities figure of GH¢3,311,963,314 for 2015 decreased to GH¢718,085,208 in 2016.

However, it went up to GH¢12,002,880,339 in 2017.

It declined by GH¢8,995,621,415 from the 2017 figure of GH¢12,002,880,339 to GH¢3,007,258,924 in 2018 and went up by 81.8% to GH¢5,468,398,431 in 2019.

The 81.8% or GH¢2,461,139,507 jump from the 2018 total irregularities figure of GH¢3,007,258,924 to GH¢5,468,334,006 in 2019 was occasioned mainly by a surge of GH¢3,058,438,311,169 in outstanding debtors/loans/recoverable component of the total irregularities in 2019, the report said.

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