THE MINISTRY of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MOGCSP) in 2012, overspent its allocated budget in excess of GH¢1,717,874,25.
The audited accounts of the MOGCSP confirmed the over expenditure, but the Ministry’s response to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) indicated that the extra money was for the construction of its (Ministry’s) office.
Officials of the Ministry, led by the Minister-Nana Oye Lithur were grilled on Friday on some infractions sighted by the Auditor General in its report.
Responding verbally to the over expenditure to support the Ministry’s response, Mrs. Oye Lithur said the Ministry needed to construct an office, so it wrote to the Finance Ministry for money.
“There was urgent need to construct an office for the ministry and the ministry of finance provided releases for that purpose,” she argued.
The written response continued that, “the excess expenditure emanated from releases for capital expenditure of GHC2,393,013,08 for the construction of the ministry’s office building.
The amount had not been originally included in the budget but the Ministry of Finance saw the need to support this office project and therefore released the money.”
When asked of the state of the construction, the Minister said funds are not forthcoming, thus compelling the contractor to stop the construction, but was quick to add that, “immediately funds are available to pay the contractor, work will continue”.
Also, five payment vouchers amounting to GHC38,057,00 were all without expenditure documentations, which the auditor in its report recommended that the amount be regularized or recovered from the payees concerned.
Interestingly, failure on the part of the Ministry to maintain a log book for 22 vehicles caused it an amount of GHC140,488,50. The Ministry, however, noted that it had procured a log book for all the vehicles and they are being used accordingly.
Meanwhile, three vehicles which were used by three former officials of the ministry could not be produced for audit inspection and the Auditor General has recommended that management should retrieve the vehicles or provide evidence of payment by the officers.
Commenting on the infraction, the Ministry said the vehicle assigned to the former Ag. Chief Director was retrieved. Also, approval has been obtained for the two other vehicles to be bought by the former Minister and her deputy.
“They have since made respective payments of GHC32,700 and GHC53,600 each for the vehicles,” the ministry opined.