The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development has directed the Head of the Local Government Service to urgently probe the administrative procedures of all assemblies cited for various financial irregularities in the 2019 Auditor-General’s Report.
In furtherance to the directive, it has asked Head of Local Government Service to follow recommendations spelt out in the report and apply sanctions to all heads and officers of assemblies who misconduct themselves in discharge of their duties.
Besides, the ministry has also attributed the situation to deficiencies in operations of assemblies, creating avenues for some officials to mismanage funds and resources not different from 2017 which equally bothered on violations of rules, regulations and directives.
Hajia Alima Mahama, the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, made this known and mentioned salary deductions, suspension, interdiction, among others as some of the sanctions to be applied against all persons cited for wrongdoing.
She expressed disappointment in the rising spate of financial irregularities in assemblies, and pledged resolve of the ministry to crack the whip to reverse the narrative saying, “In 2016, it was GH¢75 million and it was reduced to GH¢40 million in 2017.
“I was happy and I encouraged them to ensure this year it further reduce to GH¢20 million, I’m not a happy person, it has gone up, we are taking responsibility and taking action, I’ve also directed MMDCEs and regional ministers to follow up on implementation of various recommendations issued by the report, and report to me before September 30, 2019.
“The ministry will not only focus on heads of assemblies in its sanctions but will also execute punitive measures against all other officials who undertake technical and administrative activities, sometimes we blame politicians but technocrats too should be able to support and assist politicians to avoid malfeasance.
“If we start cracking the whip also on them when MMDCEs tell them to bypass certain roles, they have to disobey them and make it clear it is illegal and cannot be committing an illegality, sometimes they may also do things MMDCEs are not aware, I’m not just holding MMDCEs responsible but technical staff,” Hajia Mahama intimated.
The Auditor-General, Daniel Domelevo, in his report to Parliament on ‘Management and utilisation of District Assemblies’ Common Fund and other statutory funds for financial year ended December 31, 2018’, reported mismanagement of funds and resources by some assemblies amounted to GH¢120.56 million. -abcnewsgh.com