The Auditor General’s Department has indicted the management of the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) for using its internally generated fund (IGF) to pay salaries of the managing director (MD), Prof Alex Dodoo.
The total amount in question is GH₵291,570.18.
The breakdown is as follows:
Net salary – GH₵187,591.18; Taxation – GH₵68,884.15; and Superannuation – GH₵35,094.79.
“We further noted that the Director-General was paid a salary and allowances amounting to GH₵291,570.18 covering the period of 12 June to December 2017 from Internally Generated Fund (lGF) in contravention of Retention of Fund Act of 2007, (Act 735)”, the report said.
The report is also demanding the MD, Prof Dodoo, refunds monies paid him using the IGF once clearance is received from the Finance Ministry.
The Auditor-General is threatening to surcharge the board members should they fail to recover the said amount.
According to the report, the governing board of the GSA approved the salaries and allowances of the MD without clearance from the Finance Ministry.
The AG has consequently directed the board to halt such payments until the clearance is sought from the Finance Ministry.
“Section 5(c) of the Retention of Fund Act of 2000, (Act 735) stipulates Internally Generated Find (IGF) shall not be used for the payment of salaries, staff benefits and other allowances except the allowances are directly related to the provision of services that will lead to increase of revenue.
Section 6 (1) (b) of the Standards Authority Act, 1973 (N.R.C.D. 175) states:
“There shall be a Director who shall hold office on the terms and conditions specified in the instrument of appointment”.
Paragraph 5 of the appointment letter issued by Public Service Commission dated January 17, 2018 states, “The salary, allowances and other conditions of service attached to the post will be communicated to you after the determination by the Governing Board of the Authority in consultation with the Ministry of Finance”.
The report said: “We noted that the Governing Board of the Authority determined and approved a basic salary of GH₵18,837.02 per month and other related allowances to the Director-General for the 2017 financial year.
“However, we did not see any financial clearance or correspondence from the Ministry of Finance approving the salary and the related allowances,” it added.
The board’s directive to effect payment of the salary and related benefits from IGF without waiting for the financial clearance from the Ministry of Finance contributed to the occurrence of the anomaly.”
It added: “Monies meant to fund the daily operations of the authority were used to finance employee compensation”.
The anomaly was mainly caused by the failure on the part of Public Service Commission to expressly state the salary, allowances and other conditions of service attached to the post in the instrument of appointment (appointment letter) as required by the Section 6 (1) (b) of the Standards Authority Act, I973 (N.R.C.D. 175).
Monies meant to fund the daily operations of the authority was used to finance employee compensation.
“We advised the Board to seek retrospective approval from the Ministry of Finance to ratify the salary and the related allowances paid to the Director General.
“Failure of which the amount may be disallowed in accordance with Article 187(7)(b) of the 7992 constitution and Section 1U(1)(b) of the Audit Service Act, 2000 (Act 584) and the members of the Governing Board may be surcharged accordingly.”
The Auditor General cautioned that the remunerations of the key personnel shall be withheld so far as this management letter is not responded to after the 30 days.
“We further recommended that the amount paid to the Director-General should be recovered from his salary when Financial Clearance is obtained from the Ministry of Finance and he is put on the Government Payroll”.
In response, the governing board stated payment of the salary of the MD from the internally generated fund (IGF) has been halted.
Similarly, the anomaly resulted in the wrong payment of GH₵342,068.70 in allowances to the former executive director.
This denied the Authority GH₵342,068.70 fund which could have been used to finance other operational activities of the authority.
“We advised Management to take the necessary steps to recover GH₵342,068.70 wrongly paid to Dr George Ben Crentsil, the former Executive Director, and our office informed for verification.
Management, in response, stated that a letter of reminder has been sent to Dr George Ben Crentsil to refund the money.
“However, we did not see any financial clearance or correspondence from the Ministry of Finance approving the salary and the related allowances.
“We further noted that the Director General was paid salary and allowances amounting to GH₵291,570,12 covering the period of June 12 to December 31, 2017 from Internally Generated Find (lGF) in contravention Retention of Fund Act of 2007, (Act 735).