A wasteful expenditure amounting to GH₵120.56million which arose as a result of malfeasance mismanagement of finances and resources by the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) has been brought to the fore of the Speaker of Parliament.
The Auditor-General, Daniel Yaw Domelevo, who is incensed by this development, has told the Speaker, Prof. Aaron Michael Oquaye, in his Transmittal Letter to him, over the 2018 supplementary audited report on the Management and Utilization of the District Assemblies’ Common Fund (DACF) and Other Statutory Funds to, help save the situation.
According to the Auditor-General, the outstanding and unresolved issues captured in his report 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.
These deficiencies, he noted, created avenues for some officials to mismanage funds and resources of the Assemblies to a financial value of “approximately GH₵120.56million”.
However, what is so worrying to him, he emphasized, is perhaps, the non-adherence to his recommendations in previous reports on measures needed to be put in place to curb the anomaly.
“I have in my previous report on the Management and Utilization of the DACF, recommended to the Honourable Minister of Local Government and Rural Development to set up effective monitoring and follow-up mechanism 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”, Mr. Domelevo’s Transmittal Letter to the Speaker in part read.
To forestall corruption at the Assemblies, the Auditor-General appealed to the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development and the Head of Local Government Service to use their good offices to ensure that the recommendations captured his reports are implemented to the latter 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 loses which result from these anomalies and control weaknesses”.
“I call upon the Honourable Minister, the Head of Local Government Service, and the Administrators of the Funds to take note of my mandate under Article 187(7) (b) of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana to disallow any item of expenditure which is contrary to law and surcharge the amount of any loss or deficiency, upon any person by whose negligence or misconduct the loss or deficiency has been incurred. I will not hesitate holding them accountable”, he added.