Findings from the recent IMANI’s 2016 Financial Irregularities Index has indicated that the Ghana Youth Employment & Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA)’s excess budget expenditure and direct transfers from the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) caused huge irregularities in 2012 for the Ministry of Youth & Sports which placed second on the list.
“Despite having a budget of only GH¢20 million, GYEEDA overspent by GH¢199.3 million in just one year, as revealed by accounts from the Ministry of Youth and Sports. Exacerbating this issue were the direct transfers from GRA to the Ministry, an amount of GH¢136.8 million which were paid directly into the accounts of the Ministry rather than channeling it through the treasury system.
“Due to the lack of checks and balances in its system, it was much easier to freely overspend in the GYEEDA programme,” the report revealed.
The Ministry experienced a huge rise in irregularities over the period from just GH¢21,000 in 2012 to almost GH¢13 million in 2014.
The primary causal factor was an increase in outstanding debts/loans within the Ministry which made up 100 percent of its irregularities.
Outstanding debts grew by GH¢5.8 million in 2013 and a further rise of GH¢7.1 million in 2014.
Though a mere fraction of the total irregularities for the Ministry of Finance, GH¢18.6 million for the Ministry of Defence, represented two percent of the category’s cumulative financial irregularities.
Future reforms should focus on reducing these irregularities.
Ranking fourth on the list was the Ministry of Communications, with irregularities amounting to GH¢17.8 million, representing 1.9 percent of the cumulative irregularities. Despite accruing no irregularities in 2012, high outstanding debt/loans in 2013 and tax irregularities in 2014 collectively contributed to its fourth placed rank on the list.
“In particular, the Ministry’s loan of GH¢5 million granted to the Ghana Post Company in 2013 without parliamentary approval at the time made up the bulk of that year’s irregularities.
“Moreover, there was also the non-payment of GH¢12.8 million in landing charges from the Ghana Meteorological Agency under the umbrella of the Ministry of Communications in 2014. This outstanding debt contributed to all of the irregularities for the Ministry in 2014.
The Ministry of Health, which consistently ranked within the top five Ministries in terms of irregularities in the yearly rankings over the three years and with a total of GH¢15.7 million, representing 1.7 percent of cumulative irregularities, placed fifth on the list.
“As one of the more volatile ministries on the list, the Ministry has ranged from GH¢2.1 million to GH¢9.1 million from 2012 to 2013, and then dropped down to GH¢4.3 million.
“Responsible for much of this volatility was contractual irregularities which shot up by more than GH¢6 million in 2013 before significantly dropping in 2014.”
IMANI called for the proper management of such irregularities along with Stores and Procurement irregularities, which also shot up to more than 25 percent of total irregularities over the three-year period.
By Samuel Boadi