The Member of Parliament for Bolgatanga Central and Ranking member for the Finance Committee Isaac Adongo has accused the Presidency of engaging in what he terms reckless expenditure.

In the 2023 budget, the office of government machinery was allocated one billion cedis. Out of the amount the Office of Chief of Staff was allocated GH₵131 million but ended up spending GH₵144 million. 

Aside from the office of the Chief of Staff, the Press Office and the Cabinet Secretariat all exceeded their allocated funds.

Speaking in Parliament during the approval of the 2024 budget estimate for the Office of Government Machinery of GH₵2 billion, Mr. Adongo questioned the demand for a probe into the sources of funds for the extra expenditures of the Office of the Chief Staff.

“Mr. Speaker, how on earth can you get releases of GH₵131 million and be able to spend GH₵144 million? You are given GH₵131 million, but you magically spend GH₵144 million. How do you get that money? It means something wrong is happening there, and the office of the Chief of Staff is making expenditures irrespective of whether you release funds to the office or not.

“We need to get to the bottom of how that office is able to find the money to spend when it has not even been released. When we release GH₵131 million, we expect you to spend GH₵131 million [but] you spent GH₵144 million, and we don’t know where you got that money from,” Adongo stated.

The Ranking member further revealed that the Cabinet Secretariat which also had a budget of GH₵4.5 million, as of September had spent GH₵7.6 million.

“So clearly, the Office of the President is not part of our budget. They spend as they wish, they don’t care about appropriation, and all they are doing is spending money that you don’t know how they got it.

“Now, when you budget for GH₵4.5 million, you have not even ended the year [and] you are already spending GH₵7.6 million, overspending their budget by September by almost 3 million, which is against the Public Financial Management Act,

 “I don’t know how the Office of the President is able to find those monies that have not been given. When you release GH₵89,000 and expect them to spend GH₵89,000, they spend GH₵162,000.

Isaac Adongo further questioned why the Presidency which is supposed to ensure strict adherence to financial regulations is flagrantly flouting the same.

“So Mr. Speaker, this is the office that is supposed to be signalling to the whole government how to be responsible in our fiscal management, and that is the office that is really guilty of being fiscally irresponsible”

Parliament subsequently approved the 2024 budget estimate for Office of Government Machinery despite the concerns of the minority.

Source: Ghana/ Alhassan