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Public Accounts Committee Audit report cites EOCO for financial irregularities

The irregularities included unearned salaries and allowances, excessive cash holding, lubricants and fuel not accounted for, Purchases from Non-VAT registered suppliers and money received without issuing official receipts.

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EOCO

The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) has been cited for financial irregularities in the 2014 Auditor General's report.

The irregularities included unearned salaries and allowances, excessive cash holding, lubricants and fuel not accounted for, Purchases from Non-VAT registered suppliers and money received without issuing official receipts.

This came to light when the acting Executive Director of EOCO, Mr Justice Tsar Yao, appeared before Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Monday.

Responses

Unearned salaries and allowances

The audit report revealed that twenty officers who were either dismissed, resigned, died or vacated post were wrongly paid a total unearned salary of GH¢53,974.05 for the period under review contrary to Financial Administration Regulation 297.

But Tsar Yao told PAC that EOCO has taken steps to retrieve the money, adding that there was an outstanding debt of GHC37,891.

Excessive cash holding

The report indicated that contrary to regulation 48 of the Financial Administration Regulation, a review of the revenue received and lodged to bank revealed that cash on hand of GH¢460.82 and US$1,800.00 as at 31December 2012 had not been lodged to the bank at the time of the audit in April 2013.

Money received without issuing official receipts.

The report said amount in different currencies totalling US$50,000.00, and GH¢1,518,410.10 paid into EOCO Exhibit Dollar, Exhibit Cedis and two GoG accounts respectively between June and November 2012 from various payees were not covered with official receipt.

The acting Executive Director of EOCO told PAC the cashier who failed to issue the receipt has been cautioned, adding that receipts are now issued for all money received by the cashier.

Purchases from Non-VAT registered suppliers

The report disclosed that EOCO made purchases amounting to GH¢74,960.34 from non-VAT registered entities between January 2011 and December 2012.

Responding, Tsar Yao said the GH¢74,960.34 was an aggregate of petty purchases made from only tax-compliant companies.

Ultimatum from PAC

The Chairman of PAC, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, gave EOCO three months to retrieve the balance and pay to government’s chest or get reported to the police for them to take over the case due to a possible conflict of interest.

Can you convey the sentiment of the committee to them that beyond three months, if they haven’t settled, we are requesting that you report them to the police? …We want an independent security agency to handle the matter,” he said.

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