Politics

22 assemblies spend GH¢2.4m, collect GH¢1.3m revenue

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Twenty-two local assemblies have been indicted for inefficiencies in revenue collection.

This is contained in the Auditor-General’s Report on the audit of the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) for last year.

While the assemblies paid GH¢2.4 million as salaries to 129 revenue collectors, they collected GH¢1.3 million as revenue between January 2022 and December 2022.

The collections represented 55.02 per cent of the salaries of the collectors, leading to a shortfall of about GH¢1.5 million.

The assemblies include Sefwi Wiawso in the Western North Region, Juaboso, Bodi, Amenfi West, all in the Western Region; Garu in the Upper East Region, Kpandai, Gushegu and Chereponi, all in the Northern Region.

Others are Fanteakwa South and Upper West Akim in the Eastern Region, Nkoranza South and Pru-West in the Bono East Region, Dormaa East and Banda, both in the Bono Region.

The rest are Adansi Asokwa, Asokore Mampong, Kwadaso, KMA (Manhyia South Sub-Metro), Sekyere Central, Asunafo South, Tano South and Tano North districts and municipal assemblies, all in the Ashanti Region.

The inefficiencies in the revenue collection are featured in the report of the Auditor-General on the Accounts of District Assemblies for 2022.

Last year, the 16 regions had in operation 261 assemblies due to the addition of the Guan District Assembly in the Oti Region.

They were made up of six metropolises, 107 municipalities and 148 districts.

Out of these, 259 assemblies complied with Section 80 of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921) and submitted their financial statements for audit.

The defaulting assemblies were Shai Osudoku in the Greater Accra Region and Central Tongu in the Volta Region.

Set revenue targets
Of the assemblies that submitted their financials, it was detected that 129 collectors in 22 assemblies were paid salaries of GH¢2.4 million, but the mobilised revenue was GH¢1.3 million, representing 55.02 per cent of their salaries.

It is in spite of section 52 of the PFMA, 2016 (Act 921) which requires the principal spending officer of a covered entity to institute proper control systems to prevent losses and wastage.

Contrary to the regulation, the report noted that three assemblies, including Sefwi Wiawso, Juaboso and Bodi, paid salaries of GH¢160,061.76 to eight revenue collectors, against their revenue collection of GH¢49,162, representing 31 per cent of the salaries paid which resulted in a shortfall of GH¢110,899.76.

The Auditor-General recommended to the management of the assemblies to set revenue targets and enforce their agreement on payment of salaries to be commensurate with collections.

It also asked that disciplinary action should be taken against non-performing collectors.

Prevention of losses
Section 52 of the PFM Act, 2016 (Act 921) requires principal spending officers to institute proper systems to prevent losses and wastage.

In violation of the PFM Act, the Auditor General said five revenue collectors of Amenfi West Municipal Assembly were paid a salary of GH¢150,061.23 but they were able to collect GH¢57,374.87 in revenue, representing 38 per cent of their salaries and a shortfall of GH¢92,686.36.

Non-taxed revenue
Regulations 46 of the PFM Regulations, 2019 (L.I 2378) requires the principal spending officer to ensure non-taxed revenue was efficiently collected.

“We noted that three revenue collectors of Garu District Assembly were paid a total annual salary of GH¢56,415.22. However, they were able to collect only GH¢11,737, resulting in a negative variance of GH¢44,678.22,” the report said.

“All three revenue collectors blamed the anomaly on the unwillingness of business operators to pay their levies.

There is, therefore, no value for money in the collection of the revenue,” the report found.

The Auditor-General, therefore, recommended to managements, to ensure that the revenue collectors are effectively supervised, and the underperforming collectors should be reposted to other districts where they would be effectively utilised.

Revenue performance
The review of the performance of revenue collectors revealed poor performance of eight collectors of Garu and Kpandai.

Total salaries paid to them from January to December 2022 was GH¢138,227.45 against revenue of GH¢42,086 collected for the same period, representing 30 per cent of their salaries, resulting in a shortfall of GH¢96,141.45.

The report said the situation undermined the achievement of value for money as well as a loss of funds to the state.

The Auditor-General also noted that three revenue collectors of Chereponi District Assembly were paid salary of GH¢68,311.52 for the period under review, but they were only able to collect GH¢24,143 or 35 per cent of their salaries and a shortfall of GH¢44,168.52 to the assembly.

“We, however, noted that 13 revenue collectors of two assemblies, consisting of Fanteakwa South and Upper West Akim who were paid salaries of GH¢328,538.11, only collected GH¢105,915 revenue or 32.24 per cent of their salaries,” the report stated.

Abysmal performance
Analysis of revenue collection of two assemblies, Nkoranza South and Pru-West, revealed an abysmal performance of 24 revenue collectors.

They received GH¢316,986.69 as annual salaries as against collected annual revenue of GH¢128,672.60, representing 41 per cent of their salaries and a shortfall of GH¢188,315.09.

Management could not provide the cause of this infraction, the report noted.

“We recommended that management of the two assemblies should set and enforce targets for revenue collectors,” the report added.

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