General News of Tuesday, 20 November 2018
As government seeks to build a “Ghana Beyond Aid”, a quantum sum of GH¢297,585.36 cash is missing at the Kpone-Katamanso Municipal Assembly (KKMA).
The Audit Service has recommended that three top officials of the Assembly cough out the money.
The three Assembly officials indicted by the Audit Service are Solomon Tetteh Appiah, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Michael Owusu-Amoako, the Municipal Coordinating Director (MCD), and Bright Ametepe, the Municipal Finance Officer (MFO).
According to the 2017 Audit Service Report signed by Gloria Owusu-Afram, the Tema District Auditor, and released on March 26, 2018, weak internal controls and non-supervision over the revenue collections on the part of the Internal Auditors and MFO accounted for the lapse in the financial misappropriation.
Parts of the detailed findings of the Audit Report revealed that 11 payment vouchers with a total value of GH?40,201 were not properly acquitted with receipts or other financial details.
The anomaly, the page nine of the Report said, was as a result of failure on the part of the head of accounts to ensure that the expenditure details were provided.
What was more, it said the absence of financial details such as receipts, reports, memo or minutes, cast doubts on the genuineness of the expenditure.
The Audit Service said the KKMA had failed to show evidence of GH?25,200 for the performance of communal labour in the various electoral areas.
According to the KKMA, the work done was certified by the Environment Health Unit before payments were made and that all payments had been regularised and were available for the Audit Service’s verification.
But on page nine, the Audit Service explained that its follow-up proved futile, pointing out that the work done was still not available.
Additionally, the Report revealed that uncoordinated administrative procedures caused the KKMA to lose GH?19,970, being for unpresented payment vouchers.
The Audit Service said it could not ascertain the validity of the payments, and to it, it could be as a result of misappropriation of funds and fictitious payments.
On page 12, GH?49,588.17 was lost to uncompetitive procurement from three suppliers.
Furthermore, the Audit Service revealed that from January 2017 to December 2017, GH?40,040 was paid as two years’ rent advance for five members of staff of the Assembly.
However, per the appointment letters of the beneficiaries, they did not qualify for payment of rent, but the Assembly told the Audit Service that they paid the rent of the five to motivate the senior officers in the performance of their duties.
Page 16 of the Report demanded Solomon Appiah, MCE, and Michael Owusu-Amoako, MCD, to be surcharged for procuring items which were not part of the procurement plan. GH?92,621.90 was the cash the Audit Service captured as spent on unapproved and un-updated procurement plan.
According to the Audit Service, its follow-ups on its recommendations that the three be surcharged for the lapses in the financial misappropriation had not been effected.
The Audit Service Report was copied to the Auditor General, DAG, EIDA, the Greater Accra Regional Auditor and the Chief Director of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.
The rest were the Regional Co-ordinating Director, KKMA Director, KKMA Presiding Member, KKMA MFO and KKMA Chief Exceutive.
Aside the financial rot captured in the 2017 Audit Service Report, the KKMA’s Financial Statement, as at August 31, 2018, signed by Bright Ametepe, Municipal Finance Officer (MFO), and Michael Owusu Amoako, Municipal Co-ordinating Director (MCD), pointed out how the Assembly had unreasonably splurged its revenue.
For example, on page 13 of the Kpone-Katamanso Assembly September 31, 2017, Trial Balance, GH?75,210.3 was spent on fuel, when the Assembly had taken off fuel allocation to its senior staff. Before this new administration took over, the Assembly spent GH?20,000 on fuel allocations for its staff, including the senior staff.
With deplorable roads, poor sanitation and unhygienic source of water, the Assembly spent GH?139,737.83 on refreshment and allowances, and the expenditure is on page 15 of the Assembly’s September 31, 2017, Trial Balance.
On page 15 of its January 31, 2018, Trial Balance, the Assembly spent GH?103,373.60 on End of Year party and another GH?11,280 on entertainment and refreshment.
Despite Nana Addo’s directive that no appointee of his government should travel abroad, the Kpone-Katamanso Assembly’s June 31, 2018, Trial Balance, page 10, states that it paid GH?24,030 as travelling allowance to some unidentified members.
Last but not least, the Assembly, according to its July 31, 2018, page 20 Trial Balance, spent GH?130,817.290 in grading some unidentified selected roads.
None of the spending in the Trial Balance mentioned the direct beneficiary.