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General News of Tuesday, 30 June 2015


Ho West blows GH¢540k on transport ‘Alawa’

When some Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) are working very hard to generate revenue through their internal mechanisms to enable them undertake development projects to better the lives of their residents, the Ho West District Assembly has decided to blow its common fund on transportation and other non-core issues.

In the 2014 fiscal year alone, the Assembly spent a whopping GH¢540,098.04, representing over 75 % of its Common Fund on the payment of travelling and transport allowances, donations to chiefs at festivals, farmers’ days and independence day activities.

According to the audit report, which was to find out what the common fund is being used for by the Assembly, the purpose for which the money was used does not fall within the ambit of the approved guidelines for the disbursement of the Common Fund.

The audit report was emphatic that the Assembly had violated section 87 (2) of the Local Government Act, 1993 (Act 462).

Section 87 (2) of the Local Government Act, 1993 (Act 462), states: “For the avoidance of doubt all monies received by a district assembly from the common fund administrator shall be expended only on projects which form part of the approved development plan of the Assembly”.

Furthermore, the report blamed the inability of the Assembly to generate adequate revenue internally to take care of its recurrent expenditure as the reason for the misapplication of the common fund.

It has therefore recommended that the Assembly should put in place measures to improve upon its Internally Generated Fund (IGF) mechanisms to enable it raise enough revenue to prevent re-occurrence of such an incident.

The audit report indicated that in January 2014, a total of GH¢62, 149.43 was spent on recurrent expenditure and in February the same year, GH¢28, 095.64 was exhausted, while in March, GH¢13, 397.41 was expended.

In April this year, however, of the total GH¢201, 397.60 which was earmarked, only GH¢63, 028.91 was spent on planned development projects, indication of the fact that almost GH¢140,000.00 of the Assembly’s common fund went into the payment of recurrent expenditure.

The Ho West District Assembly, the report continued, spent a total amount of GH¢99,774.60 on non capital expenditures in May, 2014 and in June, the same year the Assembly did not spend any money on any development project.

The report stressed that in July 2014, a total amount of GH¢134, 154.49 was spent by the Assembly as recurrent expenditure without considering the fact that it has to invest the money in some development projects as stipulated under the effective use of the Common Fund by the District Assembly.

In August the same year, the Assembly managed to spend a total of GH¢41, 217.95, out of which GH¢30,798.00 and GH¢10, 417.95 were used to finance capital projects and recurrent expenditure respectively.

Again, in September, a total of GH¢82, 435.49 was spent, out of which GH¢46, 517.00 was spent on projects and the remaining GH¢35, 918.49 was used to defray recurrent expenditure.

The report continued that in October 2014, a total of GH¢38, 234.29 was exhausted, out of which GH¢20, 633.00 was used on development projects and GH¢17, 601.29 invested in recurrent expenditure.

In November, out of the GH¢61, 178.95, which was spent, only GH¢14, 800 went into development projects as specified under the use of the Common Fund leaving the greater portion, which is GH¢46, 378.95 to be used for recurrent expenditure.

In December 2014, the Assembly spent a total of GH¢42, 841.10 and the entire amount was spent on recurrent expenditure.

The report therefore advised the Assembly to be mindful of how making payments for recurrent expenditures from the Common Fund could affect development in the District.

Attempts to reach the District Chief Executive for Ho West, Mr. Samuel Ewoade via his cell phone to comment on the audit report proved futile as all the calls could not go through.

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