Over GH¢224, 000 has been siphoned into private pockets at the Births and Deaths Registry in Wa, the capital of Upper West, investigations have uncovered.
According to the country’s Financial Administration Regulations (FAR), 2004, public officers responsible for the conduct of financial business on behalf of the government are required to keep proper accounts of all transactions and produce records of the said transactions for inspection when called upon by the Auditor General.
Also, regulation 15(1) of the same Legislative Instrument (LI) demands that public officers who collect or receive public funds and trust money to issue official receipts for them and pay them into relevant Public Fund Bank Account.
However, a review of the financial records of the Deaths and Births registry in Wa, according to the 2015 Auditor General’s report revealed that the registrar issued “unofficial” receipts for the aforementioned amount totaling GHS224, 760.00 received from Plan Ghana and “lodged into an unofficial bank account at NIB, Wa” instead of the bank account of the department at GCB, Wa.
The report further noted that there were no records to support the disbursement of the funds which was meant for the registration of 10,000 children in deprived districts in the region, including; Wa municipal, Wa West, Wa East and Sissala East districts.
“The Regional Registrar also failed to respond to audit observations drawing his attention to the anomaly after several reminders,” bemoaned the Auditor General, adding, “As a result, we were unable to determine whether the funds were used for the purposes for which they were released by the NGO [Plan Ghana].”
The report recommended that the registrar should “immediately” account for the amount, failing which he should refund it to the account of the department/registry.
He should also desist from paying public funds into private account, added the report.
In another development, an audit of the registry’s payroll uncovered that seven officers who embarked on compulsory retirement still had their names on the payroll, resulting in the payment of “unearned salaries totaling GHS144,537.64 into their bank accounts.”
Below is the breakdown of the unearned salaries paid the eight
|Name of Officer||Staff ID No.||Effective date||No. of months||Salary paid (GHS)|
|Moses Ali||78426||December, 2010||32||37,266.04|
|Salifu Abdul Rahman||23152||August, 2014||4||10,762.83|
|Panta Adams||10006||May, 2013||19||23,891.48|
|Abongo Kwaku||70877||December, 2010||20||9,242.16|
|Edward Bagah||40769||August, 2013||11||10,547.19|
|Jamani Kugbee||23181||November, 2012||17||15,561.90|
|Bawa Steven||—-||December, 2010||27||37,266.04|
The said misappropriation of the registry’s funds occurred because its management failed to draw the attention of the Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD), the auditor’s report disclosed.
“Their bankers were not also requested to stop crediting their accounts with the salaries,” it added.
The report thus recommended the retrieval of the amount from the retired officers, failing which the registrar and the registry’s accountant should be held liable.