The Ministry of Finance has emerged as the ministry with the highest level of fiscal recklessness between 2015 and 2020.
This is according to data from the second Fiscal Recklessness Index 2020 Report released by Imani Center for Policy and Education with support from Oxfam Ghana, which ranked financial irregularities for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) within the six-year period.
The Fiscal Recklessness Index utilised the Auditor General’s report to assess the fiscal recklessness of MDAs, the sources of leakages in the public financial management system, and the identified institutional weaknesses that enable waste of public funds to occur.
In the report, it is proven that the Ministry of Finance had the highest combined Fiscal Recklessness Score (FRS) of 0.8797 with two key irregularities accounting for the trend; tax irregularities and cash irregularities.
It further explains that “the Ministry is responsible for 99.63% (GHS9.10 billion) of the combined GHS9.12 billion tax irregularities from 2015 to 2020. Likewise, the Finance Ministry accounted for 80.10% (GHS2.35 billion) of the combined GHS2.93 billion cash irregularities from 2015 to 2020. This trend remains the same on a normalised data basis.”
Dennis Asare, a research consultant with Imani, during his presentation at the launch of the report, explained that the Ministry of Finance captured in its report includes its subsidiary agencies.
“When we say Ministry of Finance in the Auditor-General’s report, it includes subsidiary agencies like the GRA, because the Ministry of Finance, beyond its role as a sector ministry, is also a central management entity, that also coordinates the work of other ministries. So sometimes, if there is an irregularity, it also appears in the activities of the Ministry of Finance. Key institutions that came out strongly were the GRA and the Controller and Accountant General’s Department,” he stated.
Following the Finance Ministry is the Ministry of Health as the second most fiscally reckless institution, with an FRS of 0.1007. The Health Ministry overtook the Finance Ministry as the most fiscally reckless MDA in 2020 (FRS: 0.5510 vs 0.3384 for the finance ministry).
The third, fourth and fifth most fiscally reckless MDAs over the six years were the Ministry of Roads & Highways (FRS: 0.0284), Ministry of Employment (FRS: 0.0184), and Ministry of Foreign Affairs (FRS: 0.091).
Click here to read Imani Ghana’s Fiscal Recklessness Index 2020 report.