The 2021 Auditor-General’s report revealed that the National Youth Authority (NYA) spent a total of GH¢1,181,777.50 3411 on unapproved sitting allowances to its Board Members between January 2018 to December 2019.
The payments were in contravention of a Ministry of Finance directive dated November 2nd 2018 in which Board and Board Councils in the public service were required to seek MoF approval before payment of such allowances.
The government of Ghana, through the Ministry of Finance, in a circular on allowances for Boards and Councils in the public services dated 2 November 2018 with Ref. No. BD/CMU/BCA/2018/001, stated in paragraph 2 that: “Boards and Councils of various institutions are requested to apply to the Ministry of Finance for the approved rates applicable to their respective Institutions”.
Also, Section 9 of the National Youth Authority Act, 2016 (Act 939) states: “Members of the Board and members of a committee of the Board shall be paid the allowances approved by the Minister in consultation with the Minister responsible for Finance”.
Irrespective of these directives, the NYA went ahead to issue over Ghc 1m in unapproved allowances in the period under review, the Auditor General revealed.
“In contravention of the above directives and provisions, our review of financial transactions of the Authority disclosed that a total of GH¢1,181,777.50 was paid as Board and Board committee allowances and management retreat/workshops during the period of the audit without adhering to the directive from the Ministry of Finance,” the Auditor-General revealed.
The report said the NYA management’s “disregard for government directives resulted in the infraction”, adding that: “We recommended that the management should apply to the Ministry of Finance for the approved rates applicable to the Authority” and “notify” the audit team, accordingly.
The NYA, in its response, said that “the payments were made based on category 2 of the letter from the Ministry of Finance and advice from the sector ministry,”
The Authority, however, said it has “applied to the Ministry of Finance for the specific approved rates applicable and would notify the audit team, accordingly.”