Ghanaian agency criticised for not handing over 1m cedi to government

15 Aug 18

Ghana’s auditor general has slammed an economic crime agency after it kept more than one million Ghanaian cedi recovered from individuals and organisations.

According to the auditor general’s 2016 report on consolidated funds, the Economic and Organised Crime Office wrongly kept the 1.16m Ghanaian cedi ($240,658) it had recovered in 2015.

This breached the public finance management act as the money should have been paid into the government’s consolidation fund by the government agency.

It is unclear why the funds were not paid into the finance ministry’s fund but it appears to have been an oversight.

The Economic Organised Crime Office, which is a state institution, also breached article 176 of the constitution, which states that “all revenues and other moneys raised or received for the purposes of, or on behalf of, the government” shall be paid into the Consolidated Fund.

On Monday the deputy finance minister Abena Asare said before the Public Accounts Committee that EOCO “was supposed to have transferred the monies that they have collected to us”.

When questioned about the contravening of the constitution, Asare added: “EOCO is a state institution not like a debt collecting institution that you engaged with terms.

“They should have paid into the consolidated account as and when they got the monies and we believe that as we have pointed it out to them, EOCO will desist from keeping monies that have collected on behalf of the ministry.”

Auditor general Daniel Domelevo also revealed in his report that the Controller and Accountant General Department had failed to disclose an accumulated interest of 806,407 Ghanaian cedi, which formed part of a loan procured from the Danish International Development Agency, local media outlets said.

Domelevo recommended that debt management and public debt and investment divisions within the finance ministry “should strengthen their collaboration to ensure full recovery of all outstanding debts due [to the] government of Ghana”.

He added that the Controller and Accountant General Department “should restate the loan balance to reflect the accrued interest and ensure all monies deposited into EOCO accounts are reconciled and transferred into the consolidated fund”.

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