Govt Blows Billions


The government hugely exceeded its stipulated expenditure in 2012 – election year – with almost all ministries and departments spending beyond their budgets by more than 300 percent.

The Ministry of Energy for instance, was allocated GH¢270 million but ended up spending GH¢746 million.

The Ministry of Youth and Sports also spent a whooping GH¢253 million instead of the budgeted GH¢46 million while Government Machinery blew GH¢158 million outside its budget of GH¢94.7 million.

The Ministry for Chieftaincy Affairs, which was alleged to have procured luxury four-wheel vehicles for some prominent chiefs in the run-up to the elections, overspent its budget by 450 percent.

These came to light when the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament (PAC) sat yesterday to scrutinize the Auditor-General’s report on the public accounts of Ghana, – the Consolidated Fund.

When the Controller and Accountant-General, Grace Adzroe, was queried by the committee members as to why she allowed for such unrestrained expenditures, she explained that because it was an election year expenses were over-bloated, making it difficult for the department to give details for monies spent by government

Worried committee members, led by the chairman, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, asked the Controller and Accountant-General to appear before the committee latest by Monday, to provide explanations as to why almost all the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) hugely overspent their budget in 2012.

Apart from checking the over-spending by institutions including the Electoral Commission and the National Commission for Civic Education, the Controller and Accountant-General also failed to pay all statutory funds on time in 2012, contrary to the Financial Administrative Act.

Based on the 2013 Auditor-General’s report, it was also revealed that the transfer of Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) contributions amounting to GH¢826 million, were not done while the government paid GH¢41.8 commitment fee even after the expiry of the disbursement period.

The government was said to have failed to pay GH¢15.2 million into the Consolidated Fund from proceeds of divestiture.

There was also lack of information on surpluses transferred into the Consolidated Fund by the Bank of Ghana and the National Lottery Authority.

There was an amount of GH¢513,000 that was charged on the Consolidated Fund instead of the accounts of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), which the Deputy Minister of Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson, described as ‘human error.’

By Thomas Fosu Jnr


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