The Auditor General's department has revealed it has so far retrieved GH¢67,315,066.12 from shady transactions by public officials in a special audit report on 2018 operations.
“Our follow up on the status of implementation of recommendations in Auditor-General's previous reports resulted in the recovery of a total sum of GH¢67,315,066.126 from public officers, individual and institutions who committed financial infractions in the course of preforming their duties.
“ We remain committed to protecting the public purse and will like to reassure the public that our intention is not to deny payment to anyone who has genuinely worked for the Government or provided goods and services to Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
“We demand that Public Officers keep records as required by Regulation 1 of the Financial Administration Regulations 2004 and also to respond timely to audit observations as provided by Section 29 of Act 584 and Regulation 34 of the Audit Service Regulations 2011 (CI 70),” the report noted.
It explained: “Our audit of the accounts of the Registrar General's Department for the period ended 31 December 2014, disclosed that Mr. Tahiru Haruna, Principal Accountant, transferred US$163,510.00 from the Departmental Account into his private account, thereby defrauding the state of $163,510.00 contrary to Regulation 2 of the Financial Administration Regulations, 2004 (L.I. 1802).4
“ Mr. Tahiru Haruna admitted the offence and entered into an agreement to refund the amount of $163,510.00 involved into the Registrar General Department's account which was later refunded. 10. The Auditor-General, in the exercise of his powers, surcharged Mr. Tahiru Haruna an amount of US$30,877.50 an equivalent of GH¢129,685.50 for the amount embezzled. The surcharged amount should be paid into the Consolidated Fund through Registrar General Department's accounts”.
The report also made discoveries on unearned salaries.
Unearned salary – GH¢224,159.13 22.
“Our audit of the accounts of two Health institutions disclosed that as at December 2013, three persons who had separated from the institutions for periods ranging between one and fourteen months had their names on the Special Audit Report of the Auditor-General on Disallowance and Surcharge pg. 10 payroll and were accordingly paid a total unearned salary of GH¢109,705.83. This was contrary to Regulation 297 and 298 of the FAR, 2004, (L.I. 1802).
“The Auditor-General therefore disallowed the unearned salary of GH¢109,705.83 and surcharged the three persons. Two of the officers, Dr. Otis Sarpong and Dr. Salomey Mensah, however refunded a total amount of GH¢58,653.49 but were still surcharged for delayed payments. The three officers were accordingly surcharged a total amount of GH¢114,453.30 resulting in a total indebtedness of GH¢224,159.13. The third person, Dr. Jacob Yangyouru later refunded GH¢51,618.03 of the indebtedness to EOCO exhibit account no. 1018631472265 at the Bank of Ghana, leaving a difference of GH¢59,204.58. Two more other persons, Mr. Tanko Iddi Abdulai, the Hospital Administrator, and Mr. Osei Yaw Kwarteng, the Head of Finance of the Government Hospital, Bechem who failed to exercise their responsibilities for stoppage of the salary of Dr. Jacob Yangyouru were jointly surcharged with the amount of GH¢59,204.58”.