A report by IMANI Africa has ranked the Finance Ministry as Ghana’s most financially reckless ministry.
According to the report dubbed the ‘2022 Fiscal Recklessness Index,’ the Ministry has recorded over 11 billion cedis in losses to the state due to acts of omission and commission by its officials.
The losses are said to have been recorded between 2015 and 2020 and the calculations were based on irregularities tracked in the Auditor-General’s reports for the said years.
“Over the 6-year period, the Ministry of Finance consistently appeared as the most reckless in the institution,” Research Consultant for the IMANI Ghana, Dennis Asare said at a May 31 event to launch the index.
“One major reason is that when we say Ministry of Finance, it is not Ministry of Finance Headquarters. When we say Ministry of Finance in the Auditor-General’s report, it includes subsidiary agencies like the GRA, because the Ministry of Finance, beyond its role as a sector ministry, is also a central management entity, that also coordinates the work of other ministries.
“So sometimes, if there is an irregularity, it also appears in the activities of the Ministry of Finance. Key institutions that came out strongly were the GRA and the Controller and Accountant General’s Department,” Mr. Dennis Asare explained.
He further pointed out an area that accounted for one of the key incidents of recklessness: “Commercial banks who collect tax revenue on behalf of government fail to lodge the funds based on the time frame provided by the PFM Act and that was one of the major issues that government faced. So overall, this is the fiscal recklessness of the 29 MDAs in Ghana.”
Mr Asare explained further that the current public financial system was inefficient.
“If you compare 2010 to 2014, the financial cost of the recklessness of MDAs to the period 2015 and 2020, you see that the recklessness has increased by about 13 times.
“So between 2010 and 2014, the financial cost of irregularity was about 1.4 billion, but between 2015 and 2020 it is about 13.9 billion which shows that the Public Financial System that we have, to some extent is not delivering the level of efficiency,” he stressed.
The Health Ministry came in second place as the financially reckless Ministry in the country.