A non-governmental organization, SEND Ghana, is calling on the Ministry of Finance to provide quarterly briefs on COVID-19 spending from all its sources.
The organization says such updates will aid proper financial monitoring and ensure value for money and transparency.
At a workshop on the theme; managing COVID-19 funds, the Accountability Gap, a representative of SEND Ghana, Sandra Kwabea Sarkwah called for a forensic audit of all COVID-19 related expenditures.
“Our study sought to give a broader idea of how the government is faring in terms of budget implementation, formulation and auditing as far as COVID-19 related expenses are concerned. In cases where you want to identify these fiscal data, execution, and spending rates- the study identified that some of these pieces of information were lagging.”
“As of the time we were collecting that data in the first quarter of the year, information that was supposed to be available for that quarter was not there. So it is one area we want to recommend, especially when people want to track and monitor those spending,” she added.
Many stakeholders including the Minority in Parliament have called for a special audit into the GHS280.3 million that was allocated by the government for the provision of food, water and sanitation under the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP).
This was after the government pegged the fiscal impact of COVID-19 expenditure at GHS19 billion.
The Minority asked the government to account for huge financial resources entrusted into its hands during the COVID-19 period, alleging that the CAP programme is “unprecedented levels of profligacy, waste and corruption that Ghanaians have witnessed under the Akufo-Addo government.”
There were however controversies after it emerged that, although the GHS 280.3 million was the amount budgeted, only GHS 1.7 billion was used based on the government’s own 2021 budget statement presented to Parliament.
Later, the government maintained that it spent GHS19 billion on the COVID-19 pandemic and that other figures making rounds in the media were inaccurate.