The Ghana Integrity Initiative, the local chapter of Transparency International, on Wednesday launched the ?show me the money? report in Accra.
The ?show me the money? report highlighted the financial irregularities uncovered in the audit report of five selected ministries in the year 2009-2011, namely the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General?s Department.
The report also examined the existence and functionality of the Audit Reports Implementation Committees (ARICs) and judgment debt captured in the reports of the Auditor General on the Public Accounts of Ghana.
Mr Albert Kan Dapaah, a consultant to the project, said the audit examination of the Auditor General revealed a number of irregularities which were recurring in the five selected ministries.
He said among the irregularities were the major breakdown of controls over tax administration, resulting in failure to withhold and collect taxes, failure to charge interest and levy penalties on monies owed to government and failure to obtain VAT Invoices.
?There is also the of issue poor cash management practices, non-collection of outstanding debts, procurement /contact irregularities, payment not supported by appropriate documents, stores irregularities, misappropriation of cash and payment of unearned salaries and other payroll irregularities,? he said.
He said, the reports also revealed that, between 2009 and 2011, Ministries generally did not attach particular importance to the role of the ARICs, a body mandated to ensure that recommendations in Auditor General?s report, internal audit report and report of internal financial monitoring units are implemented.
He said with regards to judgment debt, the Auditor General?s report from 2009-2011 revealed three broad themes namely settlement, compensation and obligations arising after Courts have made a declaration, and huge amount of money was paid by the state in those regards.
Mr Kan Dapaah recommended that the Minister of Justice should be separate from the Attorney General to help insulate the prosecutor?s office from undue political interference.
He said the current practice where the Attorney General?s office alone can negotiate out-of-court settlement should be revisited and politicians must also be encouraged to understand continuity of governance.
He said Ghana must also consider setting up a parliamentary budget office to provide objective, non-partisan budget information and analysis to support parliamentarians.
Mr Vitus Adaboo Azeem, Executive Director of GII, said the country is faced with a lot of socio-economic problems that must be addressed and there is the need to use every single pesewa of the tax payer?s money to address those needs.
He said the GII has embarked on public sensitization programmes to educate the public and the media on the Auditor General?s findings, as well as sensitizing them on the need to hold both national and local authorities accountable.
Mr Kwabena Twum Obese-Jecty, Director General, Internal Audit Agency commended the GII for its quest to fight corruption in the country.
He called for the strengthening of state institutions as a way of enhancing the country?s financial system.