Assemblies Blow GH¢40.93m in 2017

The Auditor-General (A-G), Daniel Domelevo, has revealed that some officials within the various district assemblies mismanaged an amount of GHS40.93million of the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF).

According to him, the mismanagement of the fund was followed by the deficiencies in the operations of the Assemblies.

He therefore asked the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development to institute measures to deal with these deficiencies within the Assemblies.

In a report titled: “Management and Utilisation of District Assemblies’ Common Fund and other Statutory Funds for the Year ended 31 December 2017”,  he said: “The report covers the management and utilisation of the District Assemblies’ Common Fund  which were provided by the Common Fund Administrator for mostly physical development activities of MMDAs. The report highlights the significant unresolved and outstanding findings from the routine audits carried out in 2017 under my direction and supervision.

 

“The outstanding and unresolved issues were attributed to deficiencies and weaknesses in internal controls in the operations of the Assemblies. Irregularities such as non-compliance with existing legislative framework and instruments, managerial lapses and weak monitoring procedures at the ministerial, legislative and administrative levels of the Assemblies were still prevalent as evidenced in the management letters.

 

“The 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 approximately GH¢40.93 million. The lapses and deficiencies were identified in transactions under account areas such as cash management, contract, procurement and store, and tax irregularities, which have been summarised and consolidated in this report.”

 

He added: “I have in my previous report on the Management and Utilisation of the DACF, recommended to the Honourable Minister of Local Government and Rural Development to set up effective monitoring and follow-up mechanisms to track actions to be taken on conclusions and recommendations made in my audit reports and management letters. I also recommended punitive actions against management and staff of Assemblies who indulged in the mismanagement of resources brought under their care.

 

The widespread instances of malfeasance and mismanagement of finances and resources of the Assemblies by public officials in this report may mean that the Ministry has not significantly implemented the admonitions and recommendations in my previous reports. My recommendations were to a large extent ignored or not implemented.

 

“I therefore appeal again to the Honourable Minister and the Head of Local Government Service to use their good offices to ensure that the recommendations in my reports are implemented to the letter by responsible officers in order to improve and step up the standard of financial administration in the Assemblies and forestall the avoidable financial and material losses which result from these anomalies and control weaknesses.”

 

Story: Franklin ASARE DONKOH

Writer’s email: franklin.asare-donkor@todaygh.com

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