Many people took President John Dramani Mahama to the cleaners last year when he confessed that ‘Ghana’s money’ had been ‘chopped’ “to the bone” with a call on him to mention the supposed consumers but the latest Auditor-General’s Report has vindicated the President’s stance.
According to the Auditor-General’s Report, which was presented to Parliament in June last year, the actual expenditure of some Ministries, Departments and Agencies was in excess of what was approved in the 2012 budget by a whopping GH¢1.23 billion
The report revealed that although the Finance Minister through Parliament can vary its budget, the goods and services and assets expenditure of 17 MDAs exceeded their revised budget.
In the view of the A-G’s Department, the excess expenditure of GH¢1,234,436,716, which was committed in 2012, affected the cash flow position of government and culminated in outstanding liabilities of GH¢592,812,032 as of the end of the financial year.
“During my review of the 2012 Consolidated Fund, I Observed that the Goods and Services and Assets expenditure of 17 MDA’s totaling GH¢2, 155,845, 054 exceeded their revised budget of GH¢ 921, 408, 338 by GH ¢1, 234, 436, 716 representing an adverse variance of 134 per cent”.
According to the report, Section 25 (4) of the Financial Administration Act 2003, Act 654 states that “where in respect of a financial year, it is found that the amount of money’s appropriated by the Appropriation Act for any purpose to a government department is insufficient or that a need has risen for expenditure for a purpose for which no sum of moneys has been appropriated by the Act, a supplementary estimated showing the sum of money required shall be laid before Parliament for its approval”, but after the revised budget was approved, many institutions still exceeded their new budget.
Sitting comfortably at the summit of the big money spenders is the National Commission on Civic education (NCCE), which deviated from its revised budget by 1014% with the Electoral Commission following by a distant of 878% ever expenditure.