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General News
Govt account was not overdrawn - CAGD 3/13/2007
Accra, March 12, GNA - The Controller and Accountant General''s Department (CAGD) on Monday denied that government''s account was overdrawn to the tune of 4.5 trillion cedis in 2005.

At a press briefing in Accra, Mr Christian Tettey Sottie, the Controller and Accountant-General explained that the figure was a cumulative cash balance from previous years dating back to the 1990s and noted `that the Auditor General''s Report rather indicated a surplus on government account for 2005.

Further, he said, the report showed that "there has been an improvement in Cash Balance from 5,465 billion cedis in 2004 to 4,565 billion cedis in 2005 meaning there was a positive cash balance movement of 900.45 billion cedis."

Two local newspapers, the Ghanaian Times and Independent reported on February 1, this year from parliamentary debates that in 2005 4.5 trillion cedis was overdrawn from government chest and that the outfit manufactures "ghost names" for those monies.

Mr Sottie said the government''s total expenditure for the year 2005 was 25,158.7 billion cedis as against a budget of 27,413.8 billion cedis.

Total revenue realised he said, was 30,532.8 billion cedis against the budgeted revenue of 29,881.3 billion cedis showing that revenue collected in 2005 was in excess of the budget by 651 billion cedis. Commenting briefly on what transpired at parliament on the said date, Mr Sottie said Parliamentary Debates volume 55 number 02, had several paragraphs with the heading "unsubstantiated cash balance of 4.5 trillion cedis."

Reacting to the "Ghost Names" story in which the newspaper quoted Mr P. C Appiah-Ofori, Member of Parliament for Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa as the source of the allegation, Mr Sottie said it would be difficult for the outfit to indulge into such illegal acts because its work was basically dependent on information provided by the various MDAs. He said it was not clear as to whether the MP''s allegation was referring to variance analysis and reporting under management accounting instead of financial statements in financial accounting to meet statutory requirements.

Explaining the processes in respect of pay rolls at the Department, Mr Sottie said apart from the statutory accounts prepared by the outfit, the MDAs also prepares management accounts that were not published but used by management.

"We want to assume that the MP''s description of the process of creating ''ghost names'' is from an informed position," he said. He said public accounts were prepared with the Financial Administration Act 2003 and its regulations and added that the CAGD did not insert ghost names.


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