The Auditor-General has revealed that officials of the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) have spent money they did not budget for.

According to the Auditor-General, the expenditure was neither captured in the procurement plan of EOCO.

These findings were contained in the 2021 Auditor-General’s report dated June 1, 2021 addressed to the Speaker of Parliament, Mr. Alban Bagbin.

The Auditors found that “items worth GH¢95,718.48 were procured but were neither captured in the 2020 Budget Estimates nor the Procurement Plan.”

To avert a recurrence of this shortcoming, they recommended that, “Management should ensure that a Budget Unit is properly constituted, and the Procurement Unit decoupled from the Finance department with clearly defined job description and responsibilities to prepare a realistic budget and procurement plan for the organisation.”

Some irregularities were also found in other agencies of the Ministry of Justice and Attorney-General’s Department. They are as follows:

Copyright Office

“We noted that the Office has no Internal Audit Unit to ensure effective and efficient internal control systems in the Office. We recommended that Management should step up efforts to establish an Internal Audit Unit to ensure sound financial practices in the Office.

We noted that the Copyright Office faces a number of challenges that pose threat to its sustainability and effective execution of its mandate. To ensure that the Copyright Office is transformed into a viable and sustainable organization, we recommended that the Acting Administrator together with the Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Justice should come out with a comprehensive plan, including seeking for funds from the Government to address the challenges.”

Legal Aid Commission

“We noted during the review of the Commission’s revenue collection that out of GH¢18,597.00 collected only GH¢12,576.00 was lodged leaving an amount of GH¢6,021.00 not lodged in the project account. We recommended that the shortage is recovered from the cashier involved and paid into the project account for our verification.

We noted that payment vouchers amounting to GH¢25,168.05 did not have the relevant supporting documents like memos and receipts to fully account for the total amount. We recommended that the Head of Accounts should ensure that memos and receipts are attached to the payment vouchers and inform our office for verification.

We noted that, an amount of GH¢47,618.18 purported to have been paid to the regional officers of the Commission have not been acknowledged by recipients. We recommended that, the Principal Accountant should strengthen his supervisory role over the cashier’s activities. Furthermore, the Principal Accountant should ensure that the payments are acknowledged by the officers involved and inform our office for verification or the total amount of GH¢47,618.18 should be recovered from the approving and authorising officers.

The audit disclosed that two (2) payment vouchers amounting to GH¢4,862.68 were not submitted for our examination. We recommended that Management should ensure proper filing system and take necessary steps to produce these payment vouchers for our examination.

A review of the Commission’s approved budget and procurement plan disclosed that, Management authorised the procurement of goods and services worth GH¢543,600.00 in 2018 and GH¢174,000.00 in 2019 that were not captured in the procurement plan of the Commission. We recommended that, Management should carry out a proper needs assessment to obtain adequate and reliable information to ensure proper planning and implementation of ensuing procurement plans.

Management wrongly bonded two officers who have been granted study leave with pay to pursue various Courses under a sponsorship program and also failed to authorise bond forms for Mr. Savior Asase Senyo. We recommended that, the officers and subsequent beneficiaries should be bonded appropriately to serve the institution to recoup its investment in human resource capacity building.”

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.