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Nine Ghana missions abroad flout financial regulations, fail to account for revenues – Report

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Alhaji Mohammad Mumuni – Ghana’s Foreign Minister

Nine of Ghana’s foreign missions have failed to render accounts of their revenue collections, the 2011 Auditor General’s report released August 14, 2012 has said.

The report reviews the country’s public purse – the Consolidated Fund for the year ended December 31, 2011.

The nine missions were supposed to transfer their collections into the London Treasury for onward transmission to the Bank of Ghana (BoG) but did not, due to the failure of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to instruct the nine missions to do so.

These Ghanaian missions were in Dakar, Addis Ababa, Algiers, Cotonou, Tel Aviv, Dubai and Lome, New York and Nairobi.

According to the report which has been sent to Parliament for query, the Auditor General Mr Richard Q. Quartey observed that, notwithstanding the directives from the Controller and Accountant General (CAG) in letter No. Rev/27/02 of February 27, 2011, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) failed to instruct nine missions to transfer their collections into the London Treasury for onward transmission to the Bank of Ghana.

“My review showed that seven of these missions namely: Dakar, Addis Ababa, Algiers, Cotonou, Tel Aviv, Dubai and Lome have over the years not been transferring their revenue collections,” Mr Quartey wrote in the report.

He continues “I also noted that these missions failed to submit monthly returns on their revenue collections and cash balances to Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD) and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MOFEP).”

Similarly, the report indicated that the two other missions – New York and Nairobi, transferred only $100,000 and €39,000 respectively into the Special Collections Account without the “supporting monthly returns” to confirm whether or not the amount due was what was transferred into that account.

This is contrary to Regulation 14 of the Financial Administration Regulations, 2004 which deems cash balances of foreign missions as part of the Consolidated Fund Account, the audit report stated.

Mr Quartey admitted that he was “unable to confirm the completeness and reliability of the cash and bank balance of GH¢626,696,873 disclosed in the Public Accounts” due to the failure of the nine missions to fully account for their revenue collections.

In a response attached to the report, the CAG stated that, “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has written to the missions directing them to transfer all collections into the Consolidated Fund Bank account.”

To enable the confirmation of the completeness and accuracy of the Non-Tax Revenue payable and the amount paid into the Consolidated Fund during the period under review, the Auditor General recommended that the MFA should comply with the directives of CAGD and ensure that monthly returns on revenue collected are submitted to the CAGD and MoFEP.

By Ekow Quandzie

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