The Auditor-General’s Department recorded an increase of 1,572 per cent in irregularities in 2017 that cost financial losses to Ghana. The Department says in 2017, the total irregularities recorded an increase from GH¢718.08 million in 2016 to more than GH¢12 billion.
Presenting highlights of the A-Gs Report on Commercial Audit 2018, Mr Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu, the Deputy Auditor-General of the Commercial Audit Department, said the total irregularities for 2015 increased by GH¢1.5 billion or 76.4 per cent from 2014 figure of about GH¢1.8 billion, which was due to a sharp increase in cash and tax irregularities.
He said in 2017, the total irregularities recorded an increase of 1,572 per cent from GH¢718.08 million in 2016 to more than GH¢12 billion in 2017.
The change, he said, was as a result of GH¢11.5 billion increase in Outstanding Debtors/Loans, and Recoverable Charges.
Mr Asiedu said the financial year 2018 recorded a 74.9 per cent decline in total irregularities figure of GH¢3.0 billion as against the 2017 figure of GH¢12.0 billion, attributing the change to a decrease in outstanding debtors.
Mr Daniel Domelevo, the Auditor-General (AG), said the collective effort of Ghanaians to demand accountability from institutions is the sure way to get rid of infractions and inconsistencies in public accounts.
He said there were two sides of ensuring accountability in the public financial management system that is the supply and the demand side.
The AG was speaking at symposium to strengthen the media and to create awareness as well as provide education to the citizenry on the Auditor’s report recently presented to Parliament.
Mr Domelevo said the supply side of accountability was when the government made available information such as the Auditor-General’s report to the public, while the demand side was when civil society, the media and the citizenry react to the information provided.
He said the demand side of accountability was stronger and hence the need to empower that side towards demanding for accountability from duty bearers.
The symposium was on the theme: “Achieving Audit Impact through Education and Media Collaboration”.
Mr Domelevo added that there was the need for deterrence in the system because that was prerequisite for any effective public financial management system.