The Minister of Youth and Sports, Ms Akua Sena Dansua, has distanced herself from a management letter from the Ghana Audit Service indicting the Ghana Football Association (GFA) of financial impropriety involving thousands of Ghana cedis.

She said the GFA was an independent organisation and, thus, its management should take full responsibility of any financial loss the association had suffered.

“I do not want to be drawn into this matter because the GFA is an organisation on its own and its management should take ultimate responsibility for the outcome of any investigation into its operations,” she told the Daily Graphic in Accra and declined further interview.

The audit into the accounts of the GFA by the Audit Service which was for the period July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2009 revealed that contrary to best cash management practices, GFA’s Paying Officer failed to obtain receipts to authenticate payments of more than $654,779 and GH¢8,050,361 for goods and services procured by the GFA.

It also disclosed that disbursements of $349,100 to 31 individuals were not acknowledged and recommended that the Paying Officer be held liable for a refund of the amount involved.

According to the management letter, as a result of weak internal controls over cash management, imprests of more than $316,000 and GH¢165,696 granted to 23 officers between July 2007 and April 2009 to undertake various activities on behalf of the GFA were not accounted for even though the programmes were completed.

“As at the time of reporting an amount of $187,331 and GH¢106,593.88 was accounted for, leaving a balance of $128,970 and GH¢59, 103,” it added and recommended that the officers without further delay be made to account for the outstanding amount “otherwise their personal account should be debited with the respective amounts.”

It accused the GFA of putting in place weak transport management procedures which resulted in fuel purchased amounting to GH¢12, 191 during the review period but was not captured in the vehicle logbooks, adding that officers who used vehicles failed to record all journeys that were undertaken.

Contrary to Section 11(4) of Act 584, the Internal Auditor of the GFA according to the letter failed to issue reports on internal audit work carried out to management and submit a copy to the Auditor-General and recommended to management to ensure that the Internal Audit Unit of the GFA issues reports on its activities to be copied to the Auditor-General.

It also blamed the GFA of failing to respond to its previous audit report dated October 20, 2008 in violation of Section 29 of the Audit Service Act, 2000 (Act 584) and yet took action on the recommendations contained in that report.

“We recommend that management should endeavour to react to audit reports within 30 days after receipt as failure to do so could result in the Auditor-General applying avoidable sanctions,” the letter said.

It observed that 14 players of the Black Stars and their technical and management teams failed to acknowledged receipt of $349,100 paid as sponsorship package for their participation in the CAN 2008 and outstanding appearance fees in respect of the Ghana/Australia match in 2008.

The GFA president, Mr Kwesi Nyantakyi, in his response told the Daily Graphic that the GFA had responded to the financial lapses contained in the letter which it had submitted to the Auditor-General and denied any wrong-doing involving management of the GFA.

Source: Daily Graphic