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Auditor General’s report: Procurement irregularities in 2020 hit more than GHC846 million

The 2020 Auditor General’s report has found that the country lost about GHC846,134,269 due to procurement irregularities.

According to the report, these irregularities occurred as a result of managements’ non-compliance with the provisions of the Public Procurement Act 2003, (Act 663).

“Out of the total irregularities, US$39,000,000.00 (GHC224,647,800) represented award of contract without following due processes by Management of Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST),” the report stated.

The Auditor General has therefore recommended to the managements of the various public institutions should undertake procurement transactions strictly in accordance with the provisions of the Public Procurement Act as amended.

Tax irregularities
According to the auditor-general’s 2020 report, tax irregularities amounted to GHC29,201,677.

The report said the tax irregularities related to failure to pay statutory tax deductions on due dates, and non-deduction of applicable taxes. They also related to transacting business with non-VAT registered persons or entities.

Out of the total tax irregularities of GHC29,201,677, an amount of GHC12,449,542 is attributed to Architectural and Engineering Services Limited (AESL) for unremitted P.A.Y.E and VAT deducted.

Contract Irregularities
The report also said an amount of GHC89,807,321 19 was lost to contract irregularity last year. These mainly relate to delay in construction projects in the various public boards, corporation and other statutory institutions.

“I therefore urged managements to strengthen controls over contracts and ensure that funds are available in order to engender speedy completion of earmarked projects. The financial statements submitted for validation presented financial information in accordance with applicable statutory provisions, and my office was satisfied in all material respect that the financial statements complied with stated accounting policies of government and is in accordance with generally accepted accounting standards and essentially consistent with that of the preceding year.

“In my opinion all the financial statements presented a true and fair view of the financial positions as at 31 December 2020, and financial performance of the organisations for the period ended 31 December 2020 except the Institute of Local Government Studies and General Legal Council who had a qualified opinion expressed on their financial statements,” the report added.

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