Over GH5.4 billion rejected for payment by Auditor-General

Accra–The Audit Service has rejected a total of GH5.479 billion out of the liabilities of G1.279 billion submitted by the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to the Finance Ministry for payment.

This was based on comparison of figures captured by the Audit Service at the various MDAs, which were backed by documents, compared to the high figures submitted by the same MDAs as their liabilities to the Finance Ministry.

The basis of the rejection of the amount was due to the absence of relevant documentations such as warrants, contracts documents, invoices, procurements records, Stored Received Advices, among other considerations.

Mr Daniel Yaw Domelevo, the Auditor-General, who made this known at a press conference in Accra on Monday, urged anyone aggrieved by the disallowance to appeal to the High Court.

”I must say that we are very happy that we did the audit because the amount rejected was not near the one per cent I thought, not even 10 per cent but close to 50 per cent,” he stated.

He said any payment made without following the due process prescribed under Article 187 (9) of the 1992 Constitution may lead to surcharge of any person who authorised or made the payment or the one who received the payment.

The Report of the Auditor-General on the liabilities of the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), which covered January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016, has been presented to the Speaker of Parliament and would later be tabled before the House.

The audit was conducted in accordance with the Section 16 of the Audit Service Act, 2000, (Act 584) with the aim of making recommendation for the payment of certified claims of the MDAs.

The Report covered areas such as the determination of the veracity of the outstanding expenditures and commitment of the MDAs, which were submitted to the Ministry of Finance and to ascertain whether government received value for money on works completed or work in progress.

The 2017 budget hearings disclosed that there existed within MDAs, outstanding commitment by government for payment running into billions of Ghana cedis.

The Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia in April last year, alleged that, outstanding government liabilities incurred by the previous government amounted to some GH 7 Billion.

Mr Domelevo said in view of that, the Service validated all claims submitted by the MDAs, examining in particular, warrants, contracts documents, invoices, procurement records, Stores Received Advices and other relevant documents supporting the liabilities as well as the bank statements of the MDAs to ensure that liabilities have not been paid.

To control Government expenditure and minimise the risk of wrongful payments, the Auditor-General advised the MDAs to maintain proper records of all payments made to suppliers, contractors and anyone, who had rendered services to the State.

Mr Domelevo proposed an amendment of the Internal Audit Act 2000, to ensure that internal auditors in the public service become staff of the Internal Audit Agency.

This would ensure their independence from Principal Spending Officers so that internal audit is done in accordance with acceptable standards.

He recommended that the necessary disciplinary actions, including criminal prosecution, are taken against public officers who presented fraudulent and unsubstantiated claims to the Ministry of Finance for payment.

The Auditor-General said henceforth, the Service would disallow and surcharge officials who commit Government outside the Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS), as required by the Section 25 (6) of the Public Financial Management Act of 2016.

He commended the media for the interest it had shown in the audit report, saying; ”I said to my colleagues that if Ghanaians don’t take us serious after this assignment, we won’t do it anymore, but today I can see that we have increased our resolve to do more.”

Source: Ghana News Agency

Conquerors crowned champions of 2017/18 Rugby Club Championship

Accra- The 2017/18 Ghana Rugby Club Championship ended successfully on last Sunday, at the Accra Sports stadium with Conquerors Sporting Club winning in both men and women division.

In an exciting final to end the season, Conquerors Sporting Club beat Accra Rugby Club 42-3 in the men’s 15s to defend the title they won last season.

The Dennis Foundations Rugby Football Club beat Lions Rugby Football Club 3-0 in the men’s 15s to pick the third place spot for the season.

Lovemore Kuzorera Dallas, head coach of Conquerors said, he was proud of his team adding that their consistency in winning in the last two seasons had not been easy.

I don’t think we are champions because we have a star studded team. We have average players like everybody else. It is the work we put in our training sessions, which are different from everybody else. We train hard and that is biggest difference. If you want to win then you have to work for it, coach Dallas said.

In a related development, Conquerors Ladies won the maiden edition of the Women Rugby Club Championship after beating Hurricanes Ladies 22-12 in the women’s 7s whilst Griffons Ladies beat Cosmos Ladies 7-0 in the women’s 7s to place third.

Mr Ernest Hanson, Vice president and board member of Ghana Rugby, addressing the media after the final games said that they were impressed with the progress of Rugby in the country.

He said, with the level of development they have seen in recent times, the future for Rugby looked brighter.

We put a lot of effort into it, the structures are in place and it keeps getting better every year. We have been promoted to World Rugby for the first time and the future is bright for Ghana rugby, he said.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Tennis coaches must improve their knowledge to develop young talents – ITF expert

Accra – Mr Hruoje Enafic, an International Tennis Federation (ITF) coach education and player development expert, has said there is the need for more training programs for tennis coaches, across the continent to improve their knowledge and skills.

He said this would help in the development identification, grooming and development of younger players for the future.

Speaking in an interview with the GNA Sports, he said coaches needed to bring themselves with the modern trends of tennis coaching in order to fast track the development and promotion of the sports.

We have players that are obviously talented but in order to develop them, you need more knowledgeable coaches and of course the opportunities to travel to have the right competitions, he told the GNA Sports.

Mr Enafic, was in Ghana as an instructor for a two-week ITF level two coaching course for coaches across the continent.

Mr Enafic noted that the course was designed to improve the quality of coaching young players across the continent.

He said he was convinced that with the profile of the participants adding that, the aim for organising the course would be achieved at the end.

These are very strong group of candidates and many of them played tennis for their countries in the Davies Cup. I will say that because of their playing experience they understand a lot about tennis, but they are unable to think as coaches.

Sometimes they have problems with putting in the word and concepts. So with this course, they would be able to translate their feelings in the concepts and the understanding that would help them to coach their players better.

I believe that with more knowledge they would be able to develop better players. That’s what we at the ITF expect that the coaches to know. We would be able to develop better players in the future, he noted.

He said, players from the continent could only be successful on the international scene when they get the right training and good preparation.

If the players are prepared well they have the chance to show their talent on international stage at a young age and there is a bigger chance that somebody will support them, he added.

Ten tennis coaches were selected from Ghana- four, Nigeria � four, Bostwana-one and Uganda � one for the course.

The training program, which started on Tuesday at the Accra Sports Stadium, was an advance player development coaching course, sponsored by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Tennis Federation (ITF).

Source: Ghana News Agency

Danish pupils end exchange programme at Dalun

Dalun (N/R)� A group of Danish pupils numbering 180 and their teachers have ended a week-long cultural exchange programme at Dalun in the Kumbungu District of the Northern Region.

The cultural exchange programme, which is an annual initiative of the Youth Empowerment for Life (YEfL), a Tamale-based non-governmental organisation, and the Ghana Friendship of Denmark, is aimed at affording young people the opportunity to learn and share various cultural perspectives.

This year’s programme, which was the third in the series, saw the participating Danish pupils, who were drawn from Hald Ege Boarding School in Denmark interact with pupils of Simli Model Junior High School at Dalun.

As part of the programme, a youth exchange rally was organised for the pupils to exhibit their talents in sports, games, dance, arts and film making.

Mr Abdul Ganiyu Alhassan, Technical Advisor on Advocacy, Youth and Gender at YEfL, who spoke to the GNA during the youth rally at Dalun over the weekend, said ‘it is important that young people understand the diverse nature of the world, hence, the programme.

Mr Ganiyu Alhassan described the programme as useful as it helped participants to establish relationships to begin to socialise and network to learn about their countries.

He said the programme would also inculcate the habit of development work in the pupils such that they would be committed to working and contributing to ensure a better society for all.

Mr Erik Junker, Principal of Hald Ege Boarding School, said the programme was good for the Danish pupils because we do not want to be tourists just to watch some things, we want to get involved with the people and talk to them and that was what the programme was about.

Mr Junker said we are happy that the children mingle and share ideas as they undertake the various activities, which would help build networks amongst them for possible future collaborations.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Teenagers in Wamanafo turn cemetery into a ‘ghetto’

Wamanafo, (B/A) Teenagers at Wamanafo in the Dormaa East District of the Brong-Ahafo Region have turned the town’s cemetery into a ghetto engaging in substance abuse and drug peddling.

The adolescent boys and girls, mostly school dropouts between aged 13, and 18, engaged in gambling and other indoors games at the cemetery.

Disclosing this in an interview with Ghana News Agency (GNA), Pastor Kwadwo Adu, the Founder of the Wamanafo Holy Ghost Prayer Camp, said the problem required urgent attention to save the lives of the youth in the area.

Some of them have turned into addicts and alcoholics as they mix akpeteshie, a local gin with Indian hemp and drink the substance, he added.

He said because of the substance abuse, mental health cases among the youth were rife, particularly, epilepsy and psychotic disorders.

Pastor Adu therefore appealed to the Brong-Ahafo regional Police command to intervene.

He said 24 people with various forms of mental health illnesses in the area who were brought to the camp had recovered and successfully reintegrated with their families.

Many of the recovered people are individuals with substance abuse disorders, he added, saying, there are currently six patients receiving treatment at the camp.

Pastor Adu appealed to authorities to demolish the ‘ghetto’ before the unexpected happened, and pleaded with parents in the area to also endeavour to provide their children with basic educational needs to sustain their interest in school.

Source: Ghana News Agency