General News of Saturday, 23 September 2017
Some staff of the Ministry of Justice and Attorney-General’s Department are said to have received salaries (totalling GH¢92,861) which they were not entitled to, according to the 2015 Auditor General’s Report.
The report initiated that the review of the nominal roll and payment vouchers revealed that the GH¢92,861 was paid into the accounts of the officers who had either resigned, retired or transferred to the Judicial Service.
The unearned salaries for officials on retirement amounted to GH¢66,097, officials on resignation were paid GH¢2,568 while those on transfer to the Judicial Service were given GH¢24,195.
Directors of the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General’s Department and the Judicial Service were at the sitting of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament in Accra on Wednesday to respond to the queries regarding the payment of unearned salaries and other findings in the report.
The sitting was held behind closed doors, which meant that journalists were not allowed to cover the proceedings.
Therefore, the Daily Graphic was not privy to the responses given by the officials.
But the response of the management of the ministry as captured in the report indicated that the payment to the separated staff had stopped and letters had been written to the affected officers to refund the unearned salaries.
The report recommended that management should ensure that the total amount was recovered and paid to government chest.
The report revealed that the ministry failed to remit a total of GH¢10,537 withholding tax to the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
It, therefore, recommended that the ministry should remit the tax to the GRA “without further delay.”
Bank lodgements reconciliation
The report observed that the Judicial Service consistently failed to obtain bank statements from HFC Bank.
As a result, it said, the Service was unable to reconcile revenue totalling GH¢2,969,409 and deposits amounting to GH¢2,864,435 and £75,000 collected on its behalf by HFC Bank at various courts with bank statements.
The report indicated that it could not confirm whether the revenue and deposits had been credited to the accounts of the courts.
The report, therefore, recommended that the Registrar “show seriousness with cash management procedures and prevail on the bank to provide them with relevant bank statements to enable them to track all revenue and lodgements received on their behalf by the bank.”
Shoddy construction works
The report disclosed that construction works of courts for the Judicial Service at Winneba and Kasoa totalling GH¢1,241,585 were shoddy.
It indicated that barely two years after the construction, the building at Winneba had developed many cracks and almost all the locks on the doors were faulty.
Besides, it said, toilet facilities at the Kasoa District Court could not be used due to non-completion of a manhole, thus creating an inconvenience for the two judges at the court, as well as staff and visitors.