General News of Mon, 11 Sep 201728
Mahama overspent 2016 budget in excess of GH¢3m – iWatch Africa
The office of former president John Dramani Mahama overspent the budget allotted to it in excess of GH¢3million in 2016 investigations by iWatch Africa, an anti-corruption organization has divulged.
In its assessment of the 2016 Auditor’s report on the Consolidated Fund, iWatch Africa found that the Office of Government Machinery (General Government Services) was allotted GH¢ 2,988,826,659 as represented in the revised budget for 2016 but managed to spend GH¢ 6,103,994,114.
The variance of GH¢ 3,115,167,455 was mainly spent on goods and services details of which were not highlighted in the report.
The over GH¢ 3 billion in excess expenditure is well over a 100 percent of the office’s allotted budget.
The Auditor General blamed the Budget Division of the Ministry of Finance for failing to ensure that approved activities were regularly monitored and reviewed against the approved budget which resulted in the excess expenditure.
Every year, the Auditor-General makes serious findings of many instances of misapplication of colossal amounts by public office holders but has failed to make significant progress when it comes to recovery of misappropriated and misapplied funds.
The Supreme Court in July 2017 granted reliefs sought by pressure group, Occupy Ghana, in respect of the Auditor-General’s powers of disallowance and surcharges.
According to the Court, the Auditor-General must issue disallowance and surcharges in respect of all state monies found to have been expended contrary to law.
The Court also ordered the Auditor-General to take the appropriate steps to recover all amounts lost to the state, and this covers private persons.
The Attorney-General was also ordered to ensure enforcement of the orders including criminal prosecution where necessary.