A Research Consultant at the IMANI Centre for Policy and Education, Dennis Asare says the failure to enforce tax and cash management strategies at the ministries is responsible for the increased rate of financial irregularities the country is currently experiencing.

According to an IMANI report on financial recklessness, it was discovered that about 13.4 billion cedis was lost to financial recklessness between 2015 and 2020 alone, with the Finance Ministry accounting for almost 90% of all financial recklessness cases.

Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, he noted that in the few instances where Ghana had recorded very low financial irregularities, the tax and cash management strategies had been working effectively.

“The reason why we are not able to maintain that performance is that let’s remember that the irregularities are driven by two main things; the tax and cash irregularities. So a period where you record relatively lower volumes of tax and cash irregularities, you’re likely to have a very low irregularity. 

“So the periods that you’re comparing with, the tax irregularity of 2015 you see that it is relatively lower, and when you come to the period in 2016 it goes up because cash irregularities have increased. It means that the cash and tax management strategies have not been working effectively and one of the key drivers on that is the weak enforcement of compliance,” he stated.

He further added that another challenge preventing Ghana from reducing financial wastage at the ministries is the collapse of the internal audit system.

He said, “The internal audit system that is supposed to quality-assure the person has broken down. At the moment, internal officers do not have access to the GIFMIS, so they’re only able to see transactions going through it but they don’t do quality assurance, and even when they’re able to submit report, their reports are not being implement.”

“So the main challenge that we face, or the reasons why we’re not able to maintain a stellar performance is that the tax and cash management strategies are not being consistently enforced. So anytime we lose our guard down on tax and cash irregularity management, we’re likely to see a higher volume.

“So the 2015 figure tells us that within that period we recorded, all the tax enforcement and compliance measures were not effected enough to ensure high compliance and address the leakages within the system,” he added.

Dennis Asare stated that till the country addresses the main drivers of financial irregularities “or we fail to identify the main drivers of these irregularities and apply tailored solutions to mitigating them, what we’re going to see is that anytime we lose our guard down we’re going to see excess of that.”

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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.