This was as a result of the failure of officials of the assemblies to pay in revenue collected, retire imprests granted for official assignments or provide evidence to support the receipt and utilisation of goods and services totalling GH¢1,012,953.41.
The Auditor-General has, therefore, recommended to the assemblies to recover the amounts from the staff involved and sanction them appropriately, and also ensure strict monitoring and supervision over disbursements and accounting for assembly revenue, to forestall any future recurrence.
This was contained in the Auditor-General’s report on the accounts of assemblies for the financial year ending December 31, 2014
The report also unearthed massive embezzlement by eight assemblies totalling GH¢549,245.59 as a result of the diversion of cash inflows for their private use and insertions on cheques after endorsement.
“We recommended to the management to report the cash thefts to the police for criminal charges to be levelled against the officials and to initiate prompt actions to recover stolen monies,” the report stated.
The report also found that apathy on the part of the management of 32 assemblies in pursuing payments due resulted in unpaid rent, unrecovered advances, unpaid services performed by the assemblies and outstanding imprests totalling GH¢1,744,271.02.
It stated that total debts at the end of the year amounted to GH¢3,204,050.76 in the books of 132 assemblies, while 17 assemblies reported unchanged debtor balances from that of 2013 in the sum of GH¢107,135.69, suggesting the likelihood of bad debts.
According to the report, as of December 2014, 116 assemblies also owed a total of GH¢9,564,253.81 to suppliers and other service organisations, with the most indebted assemblies being the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) with GH¢2,033,776.04, followed by Ashaiman and Agona West with GH¢1,114,005.74 and GH¢76,009.85 respectively.
The Auditor-General, therefore, recommended that the assemblies should retrieve all outstanding amounts from the defaulters and institute appropriate measures to ensure prompt recovery of the funds.
Other discrepancies cited in the 152-page report included direct disbursement from revenue, payments without works order and performance certificate, unapproved loans, unearned salaries and payments for goods and services not supplied, among other bad practices by the MMDAs.
The report stated that “Contrary to Part VIII Section 31 of Financial Memorandum which requires all revenue collected to be paid in full to bank and any disbursements made by cheques, six assemblies paid for recurrent expenditure amounting to GH¢192,830.05 directly from revenue without lodging the monies to bank.”
It also specified that the management of four assemblies spent GH¢33,314.75 on repairs of equipment and vehicles without works order specifying the work to be done and certificates to show satisfactory performance of works.
Another anomaly found was the failure of the management of 18 assemblies to submit payment vouchers used in disbursing GH¢2,869,945.21 to their internal audit units for pre-audit, in contravention of Part XIII Section 5 of the Financial Memoranda for MMDAs.
It was also indicated that the Kwabre East Assembly violated Part III Section 3 of the Financial Memoranda for MMDAs, by obtaining a loan of GH¢120,000.00 from the Amantin Kasei Rural Bank to procure a new pick-up vehicle for revenue mobilisation without the approval of the Minister of Finance.
The Twifo Atti Morkwa Assembly overdrew their service bank account with the Twifo Praso Rural Bank to the tune of GH¢40,000.00 and as a result suffered interest charges of GH¢12,159.44.
For the failure of Finance Officers and Revenue Supervisors of 11 assemblies to account for 115 General Counterfoil Receipt (GCR) issued to collectors for the collection of an unspecified amount of revenue, the Auditor-General recommended that management of the assemblies should recover the GCRs and the revenue collected from the defaulters or their guarantors and also institute penal action against them.
The Finance Officers and Revenue Supervisors are also to be sanctioned for continuing to issue new value books while earlier ones had not been accounted for.
Eighteen assemblies were also found guilty of delays in ensuring the deletion of names of separated staff from their payroll, as a result of which unearned salaries totalling GH¢271,851.89 was paid in contravention of Regulation 297(1) of FAR 2004, which requires heads of departments to stop the payment of salaries to a public servant when that public servant has been absent from duty without leave or reasonable cause or has been convicted, resigned, retired or deceased.
The amounts are to be recovered from the beneficiaries or the Coordinating Directors and Finance Officers whose negligence caused the losses.
Meanwhile, the audit also found that 50 assemblies paid GH¢718,284.18 for the supply of goods and services but provided no proof of delivery or utilisation of the items.
Nine assemblies also violated Section 43 of the Public Procurement Act, by procuring goods and services costing GH¢369,612.52 without obtaining quotations from alternative sources, while 16 assemblies procured fuel and other store items totalling GH¢631,528.15 but failed to record them in their vehicle log books and store ledgers, in contravention of Part XII Section 60 of the Financial Memorandum for MMDAs.
The Auditor-General’s report found that although the Nsawam-Adoagyiri Assembly procured 59 computer monitors at a total cost of GH¢23,600.00 for its district-wide inter-connectivity project, they were not used five years on, as the remaining components such as systems unit were yet to be procured.