Ghana@50 in arrears of GH¢18 million after spending GH¢60 million
The Ghana@50 Secretariat, charged to organize Ghana’s Golden Jubilee celebrations two years ago is in arrears of more than GH¢18 million to contractors.
The Secretariat has reportedly already spent US$60 million and with the arrears, the expenditure so far incurred stands at US$78 million against the US$20 million which Parliament initially approved for the celebration in 2007.
Government auditing officials on Monday told the sub-Transition Team on Executive Assets sitting in Accra that only one out of 25 toilets for which an amount of GH¢19 million was allocated had so far been provided.
Auditor General, Mr Edward Dua Agyemang responding to questions from the Committee said the audit report prepared by the Auditor General on the activities was in response to a request by Ghana@50 Project. He suggested to the Committee to invite the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Secretariat, Dr Charles Wereko-Brobby to answer the quiz on the expenditure of the Secretariat.
Mr Dua Agyemang told the Committee of an apparent low level of skills of the Accounting Staff of the Secretariat, most of whom, he said, were on contract or worked on part-time basis, which made it difficult to get information for the auditing process.
Also, at the time of the auditing the CEO, whom the staff were expecting to give information for the auditing, he had left for London for three months.
He said neither staff nor records to assist in the auditing were available, and the Auditor General’s Department had to put receipts and payments together to determine whether there was value for money.
“We just had to put things together to be able to form our opinion. There wasn’t any account over the $60 million account,” Mr Agyemang said.
Mr Patrick Nomo, head of the Internal Audit Agency, said the Ghana@50 Secretariat did not have internal audit coverage, explaining that the Secretariat was a project under the Office of the President. He, however, said with hindsight there should have been an internal audit, but that should not prevent management from taking money without prior approval.