GYEEDA overspent by 1,000%

Mr. Seth Terkper, Finance Minister(left),addressing the media  Photo;Mercy Amparbeng

Mr. Seth Terkper, Finance Minister(left),addressing the media Photo;Mercy Amparbeng

The Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA) has been cited for overspending its 2013 budget by close to 1,000 per cent.

The Auditor-General, which made the revelation, indicated that an amount of GH¢20 million was approved by Parliament for GYEEDA to carry out its programmes and activities for the 2013 fiscal year, but the agency ended the year spending GH ¢199.3 million.

The AG also revealed that most of the expenditure made at GYEEDA did not have payment vouchers and proper documentations to support them.

As a result, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Nii Lantey Vanderpuye, and his deputy, Vincent Oppong Asamoah, were dragged before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Tuesday to respond to questions on the issue.

According to members on the committee, the country’s financial regulations enjoined departmental heads under the various ministries not to exceed the expenditure estimates in their budget.

In a situation where there was the need to exceed the budget, they said the excess should be captured in the supplementary budgets.

Some members raised issues with the Ministry of Finance and wondered why the ministry would approve such payments when it was neither approved by Parliament, nor supported with proper payment documents.

The minister said GYEEDA was indebted to some service providers under its programmes, and as a result, the Ministry of Finance approved the amounts to be paid to the companies.

He said the transactions, which led to the over-expenditure involved Zeera Group, Asongtaba, Rlg, Better Ghana and Craft-Pro, and added that although the over-paid monies were not approved by Parliament, it could not be described as illegal.

The chairman of PAC, Kwaku Agyeman Manu, said the Minister of Finance would be invited, together with the Controller and Accountant-General and internal auditors at GYEEDA, on a later date to offer better explanation.

“We want to go down to the bottom of the matter. We may have to call the Minister of Finance and the Controller to come and explain why some of these things managed to filter through for such expenditures to be made at GYEEDA,” he said.

The report also revealed that GYEEDA paid GH¢33million for services which were not rendered, while interest-free loans of GH¢55 million it gave out were also not recovered.  The agency also overpaid Rlg Communications Ltd. to the tune of GH¢4.4million, and advanced GH¢641,358 to Zeera Group of Companies.

The committee issued a summons to all the beneficiary companies of the audit infractions to appear before it and provide clarifications to the issue.

By Yaw Kyei

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