High financial anomalies in MMDAs recorded for 2018 financial year

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Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in the Northern region have been flagged by the Auditor-General’s report of high financial irregularities at the end of the 2018 financial year.

This was attributed to poor supervision of Finance Officers in the various MMDAs that ensured that relevant documents were obtained before making payments for various transactions.

Mr Cornelius Komla Normanyo, the Northern Regional Auditor, who was presenting the Auditor-General’s report on the management and utilisation of District Assemblies’ Common Funds (DACF) and other statutory funds for 2018, at the people’s assembly forum, in Tamale, said the report revealed that “inadequate internal controls over expenditure and reluctance on the part of officials to ensure that imprest granted are retired resulted in the anomalies”.

The forum was organised jointly by the Ghana Developing Communities Association (GDCA) and Partnership for Good Governance (PAGG).

According to the report, there were a misapplication of an amount of GHS 917,756.26 from the Ghana Urban Management Pilot Project (GUMPP) funds for other projects without approval from the GUMPP Steering Committee.

The Northern Regional Auditor said a review of contract documents and inspections to project sites revealed that 22 projects at various stages of completion from eight Assemblies were abandoned and were valued at GHS 1,494,666.07.

“The projects abandoned for periods ranging between two to 10 years, whilst the Assemblies went ahead to award new projects”, he added.

He further indicated that some Assemblies misappropriated an amount of GHS 17,809.41 from Persons With Disabilities (PWD) Fund on project not related to PWD activities, and said it denied them of their income generating activities

Mr Normanyo noted that five Assemblies made payments for various transactions amounting to GHS 483,690.68 without documents including, signed lists of receipts, purchase orders amongst others.

He said measures were put in place to withhold the salaries of persons who failed to respond to audit observations or queries within 30 days.

“We’re going to lock the salaries of anyone who fails to reply within the 30 days as provided by Section 29 (2) of the Audit Act, and thereafter if the MMDA fails to provide the reply with the necessary supporting documents, we will disallow the expenditure and surcharge the officer concerned”, he noted.

Alhaji Osman Abdul Rahman, the Executive Director of GDCA, explained that the forum was to offer the citizenry opportunity to dialogue with stakeholders to understand how resources at the MMDAs were utilized to the benefit of everyone.

The meeting brought together representatives from some MMDAs in the region, Community Based Organisations (CBOs), the Ghana Society of the Physically Disabled, Non-Governmental Organization (NGOs), amongst other groups.

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