Fraud In Sch. Feeding

Mr Charles Aheto-TsegahForty-one caterers have been overpaid GH¢246,135.00 due to overstatement of the population of school children under the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) in beneficiary schools, by the Co-ordinator of the program-me at the Sunyani West Assembly.

The Auditor-General, Richard Quartey, has therefore, recommended the recovery of the amount from the caterers and also urged disciplinary action against the Co-ordinator, and any official involved in the overpayment.

The report also said the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development underpaid Dormaa West Assembly by GH¢10,759.60 for its GSFP activities.

It said 21 out of the 27 assemblies submitted their annual financial statements for audit validation, representing a further decline, with regards to preparation and submission of annual accounts.

The report said the Tain District Assembly and Wenchi Municipal Assembly misapplied a total of GH¢35,483.00 from the Persons Living With Disabilities Fund and the GSFP account on recurrent expenditure.

It said five Assemblies disbursed a total amount of GH¢148,590.77 without supporting documents such as invoices, statement of claims, official receipts, purchase orders, inspection reports and payment vouchers.

The report revealed that the management of Asunafo South and Tano North District Assemblies made direct cash disbursements totalling GH¢ 42,867.50 out of their revenue collection for the year without first lodging the amounts into the bank.

It said the revenue collectors at Nkoranza North District Assembly, failed to account for market revenue, amounting to GH¢560.00 to the Assembly.

The report said the Coordinating Director and the Finance Officer at Techiman Municipal Assembly, failed to pay the Assembly’s Social Security fund contributions of GH¢ 18,987.72 to the Social Security and National Insurance Trust, and as a result suffered a penalty of GH¢17,805.92.

“We recommend that management should hold the two officials responsible for refund of the amount to the Assembly,” the report said.

The report said 21 assemblies with validated financial statements, recorded a total revenue of GH¢64,687,973.19, with Sunyani Municipal recording the highest revenue of GH¢5,517,413.60.

Eight Assemblies, according to the report, recorded increases in total revenue ranging from GH¢61,513.02 by Tano South to GH¢1,102.958.07, by Banda.

Others which gained significant increases in total revenue included Techiman North, GH¢1,103,599.73, Dormaa Municipal GH¢989,054.10, Dormaa West GH¢848,032.44 and Dormaa East GH¢751,833.79.

Thirteen assemblies, however, had total revenues below their 2012 figures, primarily due to reductions in common funds for 2013.These included Asutifi North, GH¢6,531,075.19; Sunyani West GH¢2,295,992.97, Tain,GH¢1,544,426.47 and Nkoranza South, GH ¢1,262,216.82.

Unrecovered Poverty Alleviation Fund balance of GH¢558,504.84 still remains in the books of 12 assemblies, since 2010, and they may have to seek the approval of their general assemblies, to write them off their books, the report recommended.

When contacted by The Ghanaian Times, the Public Relations Officer of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr. Isaac Dope, said the situation had not come to the notice of the Ministry.

By Salifu Abdul-Rahaman   

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