COCOBOD can’t justify more than GH¢3.5m loans and grants – Auditor-General

The Management of the Board COCOBOD has been found to be unable to justify more than GH¢3.5 million sitting on its books, given out as loans and grants.

The Auditor-General’s Report 2020 says the Board could not provide supporting documents for a total amount of GH¢3,561,358.19 recorded in the books as liabilities (Loans and Grants).

The Board of Directors of COCOBOD did not also seek Parliamentary approval to write-off GH¢23.96 million, the value of expired Chemicals and Fertilizer from the books of COCOBOD, the 2020 Auditor-General Report has revealed.

The Report of the Auditor-General on the Public Accounts of Ghana – Public Boards, Corporations and Other Statutory Institutions for the year ended December 31, 2020, obtained by the Ghana News Agency in Tema, has established.

The Auditor General therefore urged management of COCOBOD to seek retrospective Parliamentary approval for the write-off.

The report said, “…failing which, the value shall be recovered from the Board of Directors in accordance with Section 18(b) of the Audit Service Act, 2000 (Act 584). Management of the Board could not provide supporting documents for a total amount of GH¢3,561,358.19 recorded in the books as liabilities (Loans and Grants).

The Auditor-General, therefore, recommended to Management to provide the supporting documents such as the Loan Agreements, Memorandum of Understanding between COCOBOD and Ministry of Finance on all the grants for review.

Also, the report indicated that management did not transfer GH¢2.5 million to a Depreciation Reserve Account with a commercial bank as mandated by the Section 28 of Ghana Cocoa Board (Amendment) Law, 1991 (P.N.D.C.L 265).

Thus, it urged management of COCOBOD to create the Depreciation Reserve Account as mandated by the Law, to ensure that the Boards’ expenditure on fixed assets and other equipment was spent within the Fund Accounts.

“Our analysis of the last six years Income and Expenditure Statements of the Board indicated that Management did not transfer part of its profit into the consolidated fund as prescribed by the (P.N.D.C.L 265),” the report said.

It recommended that Management puts in measures to reduce cost in order to earn profits at the end of its financial year, in order to make payment into the Consolidated Fund.

According to the Auditor-General, as at September 30, 2019, a total amount of GH¢1.29 million stood in the records of the Board as balances of advances made to 17 License Buying Companies (LBCs) for purchase of Jute Sacks.

These balances, the Audit Report noted, were in the books of the Board prior to the 2016/2017 financial year and thus recommend that the Managers of those LBCs be located and the amount recovered from them to avoid loss of funds.

The report further stated that “the Board delayed the monthly Tier 1 contribution payment to Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) resulting in accumulated penalty on unpaid and delayed SSF contributions of GH¢3.74 million as at October 2019.

Therefore, the Auditor-General recommended to management to ensure prompt payment of SSNIT contributions in accordance with Act 766 to avoid further penalty charges.

Source: GNA

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