The Controller and Accountant General's Department (CAGD) on Monday denied that government's account was overdrawn to the tune of ¢4.5 trillion in 2005.
At a press briefing in Accra, Mr Christian Tettey Sottie, the Controller and Accountant-General explained that the figure was a cumulative cash balance from previous years dating back to the 1990s and noted that the Auditor General's Report rather indicated a surplus on government account for 2005.
Further, he said, the report showed that "there has been an improvement in Cash Balance from 5,465 billion cedis in 2004 to 4,565 billion cedis in 2005 meaning there was a positive cash balance movement of 900.45 billion cedis."
Two local newspapers, the Ghanaian Times and The Independent reported on February 1, this year from parliamentary debates that in 2005 ¢4.5 trillion was overdrawn from government chest and that the outfit manufactured "ghost names" for those monies.
Mr Sottie said the government's total expenditure for the year 2005 was ¢25,158.7 billion as against a budget of ¢27,413.8 billion.
Total revenue realised he said, was ¢30,532.8 billion against the budgeted revenue of ¢29,881.3 billion showing that revenue collected in 2005 was in excess of the budget by ¢651 billion.
Reacting to the "Ghost Names" story in which the newspapers quoted Mr P. C Appiah-Ofori, Member of Parliament for Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa as the source of the allegation, Mr Sottie said it would be difficult for the outfit to indulge in such illegal acts because its work was basically dependent on information provided by the various MDAs.
He said it was not clear as to whether the MP's allegation was referring to variance analysis and reporting under management accounting instead of financial statements in financial accounting to meet statutory requirements.
Explaining the processes in respect of payrolls at the Department, Mr Sottie said apart from the statutory accounts prepared by the outfit, the MDAs also prepared management accounts that were not published but used by management.
"We want to assume that the MP's description of the process of creating 'ghost names' is from an informed position," he said.
He said public accounts were prepared with the Financial Administration Act 2003 and its regulations and maintained that the Controller and Accountant-General did not insert ghost names.