A former National Democratic Congress [NDC] Member of Parliament for North Dayi Constituency, George Loh, has alleged that some Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives in collaboration with top staff members of their assemblies, illegally make close to Ghc60,000 every Friday.
According to him, these MMDCEs dip their hands into Assemblies’ internally generated funds with the excuse that they are going to make funeral donations and also pay companies that have executed some contracts.
“Do you know that it is possible that every Friday, some 60,000 is shared among top executives of district assemblies and nobody can do anything about it? The DCE has a certain threshold of contract he can award, the law says that three invoices, so the District Finance Office calls a regular supplier in the area and asks him to bring three invoices,”he said.
According to him, the companies registered with some DCEs behind it, are paid for nothing, and there is nobody to check if these companies are ‘ghost’ companies or not.
“They can call the works and planning guy and he comes to sign and say they work has been done, the cheque can be written in the DFO’s [District Finance Officer’s ] name, he goes to the bank and brings the money,” he said.
He explained that the practice has not been exposed because most Assembly members lack the courage to stand up as most of them are looking for favours from their MMDCEs.
He also said Members of Parliament are unable to attend procurement meetings to make the necessary enquiries, because the DCEs send meeting notifications letters to their various MP on the day of the meeting or a day before the meeting.
Deficiencies in the operations of metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) created avenues for some officials of the assemblies to mismanage funds and resources valued at approximately GH¢ 70.1 million, the 2016 Auditor-General’s Report on the assemblies has revealed.
The amount shows a 32 percent (almost GH¢17 million) increase in the 2015 financial irregularities of the assemblies that the Auditor-General’s Report pegged at almost GH¢53.2million.
“Management and staff of the assemblies continued to violate rules and regulations, policies, procedures and directives which had been put in place to ensure the economic, effective and efficient management of public resources made available to MMDAs,” the report, signed by the Auditor-General, Mr Daniel Y. Domelevo, said.
The government has been impressed upon to adopt fiscal decentralization policies and reduce the stress on the national budget.
“Most District Assemblies are unable to generate enough funds of their own to support their operations, making them depend heavily on the central government for financial support. The assignment of functions from central to local government is fragmented, and there is no clear definition of responsibilities across the two levels of government.”