A total of Gh¢17.4 billion was recorded in financial irregularities in 2021, the highest since 2017, the Auditor-General has noted in its latest report submitted to parliament for the 2021 financial year.
The figure represents a 36% rise compared to the Gh¢12.8 billion recorded in 2020.
This was discovered after an audit of the accounts of at least 101 institutions in the country.
Similar audit reports conducted on institutions in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 showed irregularities to the tune of Gh₵ 12 billion, Gh₵3 billion, Gh₵ 5.4 billion, and Gh₵ 12.8 billion, respectively.
The GH₵ 4.6 billion increase for 2021 was attributed mainly to power sales of Gh¢6 billion involving the Volta River Authority (VRA) and the Northern Electricity Development Company (NEDCO).
“This was occasioned mainly by credit power sales of Gh¢6,043,083,274.01 to VRA and NEDCo customers. We recommended strict implementation of our recommendations to ensure financial discipline in managing public resources,” the audit report stated.
The report suggests that the financial irregularities were occasioned by the sale of power to mines, ministries, departments and agencies and the government’s Covid-19 relief programme.
Per the report, failure by management to document agreements covering some of these transactions and following through to recover the monies have been cited as the reasons for the situation.
The Auditor-General wants the two power sector players to step up efforts to recover these monies.
The report also points to the Covid-19 National Trust Fund for failing to account for GH¢254,203.00 spent on the procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
It cites that this was money paid to the Covid-19 Private Sector Fund for the procurement.
“On the contrary, our vouching disclosed that out of GH¢10,257,360 paid via payment voucher number 0590507 dated 16 June 2020 to Ghana Covid-19 Private Sector Fund, a private organization for the procurement of Medical Equipment and Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), only GH¢10,003,157 had been accounted for with an outstanding amount of GH¢254,203.00 not accounted for as at 31 December 2020.”