Ex-MCEs, others hot over irregularities

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 Oppong Amponsah

The Auditor-General’s Department has cited former Municipal Chief Executives (MCEs) for Techiman and Dormaa Central Municipal Assemblies and other top managers in the then Brong- Ahafo region for engaging in alleged financial irregularities.

The irregularities are contained in the Auditor-General’s Report on Management and Utilisation of District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) and Other Statutory Funds.

In the case of Techiman Municipal Assembly, the former MCE, Oppong Amponsah, and former Coordinating Director, I K Acheampong, are to be held liable over an alleged missing farm tractor belonging to the assembly.

According to the Auditor-General’s report, a physical inspection of the assets of Techiman Municipal Assembly showed that management on August 28, 2015 hired one farm tractor with registration number  GE 2025X to Joseph Osei Boateng, of Aworawa, Techiman, for a monthly fee of GH¢500.00.

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Meanwhile, as at December 2017, the tractor could not be traced by management, neither could any proceed received from Mr Osei Boateng be traced.  “Management response to our observation on the missing tractor indicated that no action was taken to trace the tractor,” the report stated.

“We therefore recommended that management should report the matter to the Police for further investigation and recovery of the tractor together with proceeds accrued therefrom,” it added.

The Auditor-General’s report further recommended that the former Chief Executive of Techiman Municipal Assembly and former Coordinating Director, who released the tractor for hiring, should be surcharged if the tractor could not be traced.

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Judgment debt

In another development, the report also captured how the Dormaa Municipal Assembly paid an amount of GHS245, 024.73 as judgment debt, which the A-G said could have been avoided.

The Assembly paid the said avoidable judgment debt to Messrs Sargents Venture Ltd in Sunyani.

“We noted that though the Assembly had a contract agreement with the contractor, he was supposed to construct the ground floor of the market store at the Tuesday market in Dormaa Ahenkro. The contractor, after constructing the ground floor, proceeded to erect pillars for the construction of the first floor. The Assembly did not take any action to stop the contractor from erecting the pillars only to raise issues when the contractor presented his interim certificate for payment to be made,” the report stated.

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The report noted that the Assembly’s refusal to settle the debt made the contractor sue it at the Commercial Division of the Sunyani High Court and was awarded a judgment debt of GH¢245,024.73. “The Assembly failed to produce the contract document for our review,” the A-G said.

The report said the anomaly resulted in the Assembly losing funds earmarked for other developmental projects in 2017, and  recommended a refund of the amount of GH¢245,024.73, jointly from the former Chief Executive, Gordon Asubonteng, the Planning Officer, Francis Adu Boateng, and Works Engineer, Seth Acheampong, since the payment was occasioned by their inaction.

 

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