Ghc 3.2bn tax revenue has disappeared with no trace from the coffers of the Ministry of Finance, the Controller and Accountant General and the Ghana Revenue Authority, the 2021 Auditor-General’s report has uncovered.
The potential malfeasance was uncovered by the Auditor-General during the 2021 audit of public institutions.
The audit discovered that whilst the GRA and Finance Ministry reported a total tax revenue of GH¢57.43 billion, the records of CAG indicate a total tax revenue of GH¢60.69 billion.
This indicates that over 3Billion Ghana Cedis is unaccounted for between the three institutions.
“We observed significant differences in the revenue figures reported by CAG compared with the relevant government institutions during the validation of the revenue figures reported as follows: Direct and indirect taxes reported by CAG amounted to Ghc 27,709,806,120 and Ghc 32,979,232,570 respectively in the whole of government accounts compared with GRA reported tax revenue of Ghc 27,603,309,699 and Ghc 29,823,785,799 for direct and indirect taxes respectively resulting in government tax revenue totalling Ghc 3,261,943,192,” the report said.
This discovery is just the latest shocking expose from the 2021 Auditor-General’s report which uncovered waste and malfeasance at multiple government entities.
The report revealed the country lost over Ghc1bn through irregularities at Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
Approximately GH¢1,080,913,824 was lost, a colossal sum but a reduction on the 2020 figure of GHc 2,053,176,449.
The over Ghc1bn lost to irregularities fell broadly into a few categories – tax irregularities, contract irregularities, cash irregularities, payment irregularities, rent irregularities and total indebtedness/loans/advances due to the state.
The irregularities unearthed occurred as “either losses that had been incurred by the State through the impropriety or lack of probity in the actions and decisions of public officers or on the other hand, the savings that could have been made, if public officials and Institutions had duly observed the public financial management framework put in place to guide their conduct and also safeguard national assets and resources”.
Whilst uncovering multiple irregularities, critics have called for the Auditor-General to go further than that and lead the recovery of the wasted government revenue.