Eighteen out of the 26 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies in the northern region failed to account for total of Gh 29,250 monies, the Public Accounts Committee of parliament has said.
Of the 18, Kpandai districts alone were not able to account for 18,608 Ghana cedis.
The amount according to the 2015-2016 Auditor General report was proceeds from tender documents. Six payment vouchers totaling 12,907 Ghana cedis were not accounted for, the report revealed.
The report also revealed that, total revenue increase for the selected 18 MMDAs in the northern region is 1.2 % for the period under review.
PAC says it is examining the revenue generation of the assemblies and lamented the low revenue generation. An amount of Gh 50200 was realized from the sales of tender documents at the Ghana Social Opportunities Project (GSOP ).
Gh13000 was supposed to be collected by the assembly but they were not able to collect it. The internal auditor, Mr.Kissim Bakari Ganiu, of the assembly said, Gh4,800 has been recovered. PAC has directed that the assembly should find the Gh13,000 within a week and report to PAC or be surcharged.
The committee noted with grave concerns the mismanagement of public funds at the MMDAs and warned that if care is not taken it could ruin government business.
A number of assemblies have been ordered by PAC to refund monies they either internationally or unintentionally caused the state.
The Beduri district assembly in the Bawku West of the upper east region was ordered to go back and come and furnish the committee with proper documents covering their operations.
The order follows the assembly’s inability to account for 4,856 Ghana cedis.
The disappointed PAC members told the district finance officers, coordinating directors and the internal auditors to used their own money to go and come back with proper documentation covering 2015-2016 report.
Chair of PAC, Mr. James Klutse Avedzi warned that if they use the assembly money to finance their transport to reappear before the committee, they will be exposed.
Bongo district assembly couldn’t also account for Gh 5,145,35 pesewas.
Talesi district couldn’t account for over 18 thousand.
Hon. Ntow could not understand why an assembly will carry out an activity, pay but will not take receipt of 62000 Ghana cedis. "We can’t accept such answers from the finance officer."
The chairman noted with grave concern the phenomenon of fuel not being accounted for.
PAC was worried about unaccounted fuel money trend in the MMDAs
The committee expressed worried about an accounted for fuel monies in most of the Assemblies in the northern region.
A trend which appeared to be a deliberate intent PAC said must stop. AG report indicated that, West Gonja couldn’t account for 14,0000 and Nanumba nearly being the worse with 23,0000 cedis.
Nanumba south district Fuel not accounted for amounted to 23,431 in the 2015 Auditor General report. The finance officer of the assembly put the blame on drivers who he said were not logging in the fuel they buy in the log books inside their vehicles. Mr. Solomon Boah, the deputy northern regional minister advised that, drivers who for good reasons cannot log in must be logged in by officers.
Chairman of the committee, Mr James Klutse Avedzi was not happy that assemblies failed to submit financial reports to auditors on time and waited to appear before it because of one infraction. How much did it cost you over to travel to Nanumba south to Tamale, Mr Avedzi asked.
"It cost us 2,000 cedis," the coordinating director, said: "If any assembly failed to submit documents at the appropriate time for the auditor general, you will be surcharged and you will use your own money to pay for the travel," the PAC chair warned.
Yendi Municipal Assembly
About 5,660 Ghana cedis was accounted for by officials of Yendi Municipal Assembly.
The assembly had only infraction which angered committee members
The Pac warned all internal auditors and finance officers to take PAC very serious before appearing before the committee, and to adhere to the officials of AG anytime they are in their districts. PAC ordered the municipal officials to submit uncompleted documents to the committee by the close of the day.
The committee took exception to the behavior of the Yendi Municipal Internal behavior and expressed doubts about receipts. The expenses for traveling by the officers should be paid by the internal auditor for his in actions.
PAC order follows disagreement that ensued between the municipal auditor and the internal auditor over certain spending.
Bole District also failed failed to account for 400,000 cedis. Gushegu; an accounted for amounted to 5,550 at the time of the report.
Members of the committee took serious exception to “we are sorry Mr Chairman; it won’t happen again” by various Districts Finance Officers, and in some cases, district internal auditors.
The committee reminded all those who appeared before the committee, the popular mantra that “ I wasn’t at post at the time when the mess was caused” PAC and Auditor General will by next report halt, retire or transfer officers before the committee to answers questions and possible surcharge.
PAC was established under article 102 with the powers of a high court.