The recently released Auditor-General’s Report on the Public Accounts of Ghana’s statutory institutions for the period ended 31st December 2014 has revealed that management of the Ghana Railway Company Limited failed to account for a total of GH¢1,506,344.67 between 2006 and 2009.
This comprised unaccounted amount of GH¢688,533.20 for 2006, GH¢695,974.25 for 2007, GH¢96,432.93 and GH¢25,404.29 for 2009.
At the end of 2009, the company received a total cash of GH¢3,422,574.76, out of which GH¢3, 397,170.47 was sent to the bank, leaving a balance of GH¢ 25,404.29, which could not be traced.
Commenting on how management of the company reacted to the situation, the Auditor-General stated: “Management always assured us that internal control measures were being complied with and that the cases were under investigation, yet the situation still persist. These imply that the debts are becoming irrecoverable.”
He continued: “We recommended that management should pursue this seriously. Management responded that they have recognized the weaknesses in the internal control system and were taking steps to restructure the internal control system.”
The Auditor-General’s report indicated that efforts had not been made over the years to settle various statutory deductions made on staff salaries and other payments to the appropriate government agencies.
This resulted in accumulated balances totaling GH¢9,465.235.52 as at the end of the year under review.
These included social security contributions of GH¢6,370,877.99, withholding taxes of GH¢366,424.05 and GH¢2,727,933.48.
“The implication is that the company stands to face imposition of heavy penalties.”
When asked to either take urgent steps to pay the statutory debts or negotiate the terms of payment, management of Ghana Railways Company Limited said it had taken note of the recommendation for compliance.
Outstanding staff loans
The Auditor-General said: “We observed that staff loan balances as at the end of 2009 was GH¢186,281.78. However, an analytical review of the ledger and explanations given revealed that some of the retired, resigned, retrenched or deceased staff still had their names in the ledger with balances but their names have been removed from the payroll.
The staff loans register was bloated and therefore could not be relied upon.
“Efforts to ascertain individual balances as at the year-end proved futile.”
The Auditor-General additionally said almost all the wooden sleepers on GRCL’s rail tracks were rotten while transportation of manganese from Nsuta had been hampered.
“Currently, the old abandoned sleepers on the tracks are being removed for new ones, but the contractors of the wooden sleepers are reluctant to supply because the price being quoted by GRCL is woefully inadequate.
“This implies that derailment would be on the increase, resulting in very low income and consequently labour force would be indirectly rendered redundant.”
Source: Daily Guide