Mofa Failed To Disclose C15.5m Loan To C&AG

Fiifi Kwetey Minister of Agriculture (5)The Ministry of Food and Agriculture has been indicted for failing to disclose into public accounts the 15,530,000 Euros loan facility it granted to oil palm and rubber farmers in the Central and Western regions in 2006.

The ministry also failed to disclose whether or not the moneys have been recovered from the farmers.

This is contained in the Report of the Auditor General on the Public Accounts of Ghana Consolidated Fund for the year ended December 31, 2013, signed by the Auditor-General, Richard Quartey.

The report observed that an interest free loan of GH¢5 million which was paid to the Micro-Finance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) in March 2011 per BTA No. 48353 was omitted by the Public Debt Investment (PDI) in the loan receivables.

It said the MOFA failed to keep the Controller and Accountant-General’s Department (CAGD) informed about the full disclosure of the transactions and its recoveries in the Public Account.

The Auditor-General in the   report said the non-disclosure of the transaction by MOFA was in breach of the country’s financial regulations which states in the Financial Administration Regulation (FAR) 139, “the Controller and Accountant General shall, in the public accounts rendered in accordance with section 41 of the FAR Act, 2003(Act 645), include detailed statements of loans from the Consolidated Fund”.

The Auditor-General, Richard Quartey, in the report urged the CAGD to demand and review the reports from NIB and disclose it appropriately in the public accounts and also update the loan receivable accounts and ensure that the PDI unit took account of all loans.

The report said management’s response from CAGD was that “in the case of the subsidiary loan agreement, CAGD has requested for information from NIB, MOFA and Ministry of Finance to enable us to update our records”.

The management response, according to the report, said “the system of recording, accounting and reporting on projects and non-project loans and grants, which give rise to discrepancies have been reviewed and documented.”

It said “the re-engineered procedures and processes will be defined on the Ghana Integrated Financial Management and Information System as part of the process of inclusion of the processing of those funds under the GIFMIS”.

A management response also said the loan of GH¢5 million to MASLOC which was classified as non-financial asset had been now reclassified as financial asset.

The report noted a weak collaboration between CAGD and various sector ministries involved in the management of government of Ghana equity investments as a result of the failure of the PDI Unit of CAGD to liaise with various sector ministries to ascertain the status of government’s equity investment and report on them accurately in the public accounts.

By Salifu Abdul-Rahaman    

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