General News of Wednesday, 9 August 2017
Funds that accrued from former President John Mahama’s 10% salary cut policy which affected himself, his deputy and all appointees, cannot be traced by the Controller and Accountant General.
The voluntary austerity move was announced by the Mahama administration in the 2014 State of the Nation Address.
The pay cut summed up to a total of GHS2.5million at the end of December 2016.
The amount was deposited in a special account recommended by the former president to be used for the construction of Community-based Health Planning and Services compounds or CHPS compounds.
The Controller and Accountant General’s Department in February confirmed to TV3 that the 10% deducted from the salaries of the former president, his deputy and 52 ministers as well as other government appointees, was done for a period of three years.
Head of payroll at the Controller and Accountant General’s Department, George Baah in an interview with TV3 in February said: “A monthly average of around GHS 52,000 accrued from the deductions.”
Mr. Baah, however, indicated that “as to the disbursement, who is in charge, whether it was indeed being used to finance the construction of those projects was totally out of my remit.”
When he appeared before the Public Accounts Committee of parliament on Wednesday, 9 August 2017, the Controller and Accountant General Eugene Ofosuhene said former Chief of Staff Julius Debrah per a letter ordered the transfer of the amount in 2014.
“The president of the republic at that time and some of the ministers agreed that there should a 10% cut in their salary and they wanted to use that money to build CHPS compounds for some towns and villages in this country but when you look at the statement here, in 2015 you recorded zero… so as to what they have done with the money, that one is not an area for us to answer because it was not statutory deductions which we should have taken and then say pay to SSNIT or pay to GRA. This one was a voluntary deduction so when you deduct you give it to the one who asked you to deduct on his behalf.”