Ghana Free Zones Authority paid nearly ¢1m to Board without Finance Minister’s approval – Auditor-General’s Report
The Ghana Free Zones Authority paid almost a million cedis in allowances to its board members without approval from the Finance Ministry.
This was revealed into the 2019 Auditor General’s Report on public boards, corporations and other statutory bodies.
The Auditor-General Johnson Asiedu is recommending the board seek approval from the minister of finance for allowances paid to members.
According to the report, the Minister of Finance did not approve allowances totalling ¢403,044 and ¢578,598 for 2017 and 2016 respectively, paid to members of the Board.
This was a contradiction to Section 4(3) of the Free Zone Act, 1995 Act 504.
Also, in contradiction of Section 4(3) of the Free Zones Act 1995 (Act 504), the Board members were paid unapproved ex-gratia to the tune of ¢308,750 on 30th December 2016.
The Auditor-General, therefore, recommended to the Board to seek approval from the ministry of finance for those payments, otherwise the amount should be refunded by the Board members.
On issues regarding the failure of the Free Zones Authority to claim monies owed by companies operating in the enclave, the Auditor-General noted that management did not collect from the Free Zones Companies long outstanding receivables balances totalling ¢2,776,347 and ¢2,776,347 for 2017 and 2016 respectively.
The Auditor-General again recommended that management should device appropriate plans to retrieve all receivables.