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Auditors unearth several irregularities in two Assemblies
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General News of Monday, 17 August 2009

Source: GNA

Auditors unearth several irregularities in two Assemblies

Bolgatanga, Aug. 17, GNA - Auditors have unearthed several irregularities in the financial management of the Bolgatanga Municipal and Builsa District in the Upper East Region.

The irregularities include internally generated funds not banked or recorded, improper accounting of imprest, failure or wrongful deduction of withholding tax and irregular review of bank reconciliation. The two Districts also failed to capture subventions from central government, poor filing system, undue delays at deleting names of retired workers from pay roll and the absence of an Internal Audit Unit. Mr Felix Oppong-Yeboah, Upper East Regional Auditor, said this at Bolgatanga at a Public Financial Management Workshop organized by the Audit Service in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and other financial organization.

The workshop was attended by District Budget Officers, Accountants, Finance Administrators and Heads of some departments in the Region. Mr Oppong-Yeboah noted that the irregularities were unacceptable and that, "This issue is very irritating".

He said unearthing the irregularities was important and needs to be acted upon promptly by recovering the monetary value, adding that, such funds could be used for important development projects. Mr Seth Botchway, Deputy Head of the Public Expenditure Monitoring Unit of the Ministry of Finance, asked all Municipal and District Assemblies to submit their budgets and supplementary budgets for approval by Assembly members before using them.

He noted that majority of the District and Municipal Assemblies spent more funds than they had in their budgets and that the extra expenditures were not approved by the Assemblies.

He said a study done on some Assemblies in the country revealed that little amounts of money could not be accounted for, which he referred to as "leakages," adding that, the cumulative amount of such leakages all over the country would be a large amount of money that can be used to benefit the entire nation.

The workshop was meant to sensitize the participants on good Financial Management and to provide an independent opinion from the various agencies whose units the reports identified as areas with problems.

It would also review and report on the effectiveness of the systems of internal controls of the audited organizations. The participants would also discuss, public Finance Management Cycle, Planning and Budgeting, Authorization, Revenue Mobilization and Internally generated funds.

Mrs. Lucy Awuni, Deputy Regional Minister, who opened the workshop, noted that, it was not only embezzlement of public funds that constituted irregularities in public financial processes, but the inability of key officials not doing the work for which they were paid or keeping records as well as adhering to procedures that protect public property and assets. She expressed the hope that the knowledge participants would gain would help them improve their work. 17 Aug. 09

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