A former executive director of the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) is reported to have been paid double salaries and related allowances for six consecutive years, according to an audit report released by the Auditor-General.
The report revealed that Dr George Ben Crentsil, was paid double salary allowances of GH₵342,068.70 by the Authority from January 2011 to January 2017.
After noticing the above irregularities, the Auditor-General recommended that “the necessary steps is taken to recover the said amount which was wrongly paid to Dr George Ben Crentsil, the former Director and our office informed for verification.
According to the Auditor-General, the GSA Board of Directors were also the persons who determined and authorised payment of GH¢291,570.12 to the Director- General as salary and related allowances covering the period of June 2017 to December 2017 from Internally Generated Find (IGF) in contravention of the Retention of Fund Act, 2007 (Act 735).
Aside this, the Auditor-General’s office also uncovered that the authority had constructed a training school with a guest house facility and furnishing at a cost of GH¢19,463,535.26. However, physical inspection conducted disclosed that the facility was not fully utilized for its intended purpose since its completion in December, 2016.
To avoid further loss of revenue and deterioration of the facility, the report recommended to management to take urgent steps to resolve all issues to ensure full utilisation of the facilities.
It was also established that the GSA Board approved a price fluctuation of GH¢4,487,205.38 representing 29.5% of the original contract sum of GH¢15,229,412.38, in respect of the design and construction of the training school and hostel facility at Ridge-Accra by Messrs Lemet Construction Company Ltd.
The Board also failed to refer to the appropriate authority for approval Ridge hostel facility project.
In view of the above, the Auditor-General recommended that management provide the audit team with “a copy of letter written to the appropriate authority for the approval, the approval letter, the Consultant’s report and Bill of Quantities to justify the price fluctuation for audit review”.
Rot at ECG as well
In a related development, revelations made in the 2020 Auditor-General’s Report indicates that the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), has locked up procured prepaid meters and conductors worth GH¢59 million for about five years without using them.
The 265 square meters and conductors were procured between 2014 and 2016, but at the time of the audit in 2019, the meters have not been deployed.
This is because of the failure of the management of ECG to issue the old stock before purchasing new meters, leading to the lock-up of huge investments, which could have been used for other essential needs of the company.
Based on the Auditor-General’s findings, the management of ECG has been charged to ensure that the prepaid meters and conductors are issued out to the general public, failure for which the amount involved should be recovered from the officers who engaged in the procurement.
It also came to the fore that ECG lost 2,649.08 Gigawatt hours (GWh), which represents 24.30% of power purchased from the power-producing companies to system losses.
Again, the report showed that the company incurred expenses to the tune of ¢182,576,235.15 as a capacity charge by Cenit Energy for the 12 months in 2018. However, Cenit supplied only a small kilowatt per hour (kwh) fraction of what that amount correlates to in August and December of 2018.
More so, the audit pointed out that ECG has not established an internal Audit Committee, which is supposed to provide financial oversight.
Due to the developments above, the management has been told to determine losses that are due to technical and commercial challenges to help deploy measures to reduce those losses.