The Finance Ministry has responded to the Auditor General’s report on government’s COVID-19 expenditure.
In the report, the Auditor General among other things complained that the state spent US$607,419.02 out of US$4,049,460.12 for the purchase of 26 ambulances, but the vehicles were never delivered.
The report among other things added that the Information Ministry paid an unapproved amount of GH₵151,500 to its staff as COVID-19 insurance while $81 million worth of vaccines paid by the government were never delivered.
The audit report also confirmed that government mobilized GH¢21,844,189,185.24 for its Covid response from March 2020 to June 2022 and secured funding from other sources.
In a statement issued on January 25, 2023, the Finance Ministry, explained that the 53.8% and 46.2% of resources which according to the audit report were spent on direct COVID-19 interventions and general budget support were consistent with the mandate approved by Parliament.
The Ministry of Finance further explained that it coordinated the mobilization and disbursement of funds for the COVID-19 responses in line with the Public Financial Management Act.
“Hence, as reported on page 11, paragraph 31 of the report, the 53.8% and 46.2% spent on direct Covid-19 interventions and for general budget support respectively were consistent with the mandate approved by Parliament. The Ministry of Finance coordinated the mobilization and disbursement of funds for the Covid-19 responses by Government in accordance with the Public Financial Management Act, to ensure the timely release of funds to save lives, livelihoods, and property,” the Ministry of Finance clarified in the statement.
Welcoming the audit, the Finance Ministry said it has put measures in place to address all issues raised in the report, assuring that it is preparing an Emergency Expenditure Management Guideline for future use.
“The Ministry welcomes the Auditor General’s report and wishes to assure the public that, steps are being taken to address all issues. The following interventions are currently being pursued by the Ministry: Meetings are being organised to engage with the implementing Agencies to evaluate actions taken to implement the audit recommendations in the audit report. Preparation of an Emergency Expenditure Management Guideline. This guideline will provide government with administrative protocols in times of emergency such as the Covid-19 pandemic to ensure compliance with relevant PFM regulations whiles providing timely responses”.
The Finance Ministry also assured to apply its best efforts to enforce and enhance expenditure management and accountability to ensure proper utilization of tax revenue.
“The Ministry of Finance will continue to apply its best efforts to enforce and enhance expenditure management and accountability to ensure proper utilization of tax revenue to the full benefit of citizens using established budgetary and accountability systems in Government,” the ministry assured.