The Accra West Region of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) made losses amounting to GH¢179,647.23 for materials provided on rechargeable jobs.
This was contained in the report of the Auditor General on the Public Accounts of Ghana – Public Boards, Corporations and Other Statutory Institutions for the year ended December 31, 2020.
The report said the value of materials actually transferred from stores to the dedicated or rechargeable jobs were higher than ECG estimates made to the customers.
The report indicated that a similar thing occurred at the ECG Strategic Business Unit in the Ashanti Region which resulted in the loss of GH¢140,084.74 for materials provided on rechargeable jobs.
It, therefore, urged management of the company to ensure that estimates from the engineers should be on materials only while the accounts section does the costing of the materials to avoid recurrence of the loss of materials for dedicated jobs.
The report noted that the Auditor General during his audit found that 16 Special Load Tariff (SLT) companies in the region had not paid their debts amounting to GH¢27,857,498.59.
“We recommended to management to expedite action on the legal proceedings to recover the debt. Management is urged to ensure that the companies do not reconnect the meters secretly,” the report asserted.
The report again said the ECG lost 2,649.08 MWh which represents 24.30% of power purchased from the power producing companies to system losses, saying “we advised management to determine losses which are due to technical and commercial challenges so as to deploy measures to reduce those losses.”
“We noted that ECG incurred expenses to the tune of GH¢182,576,235.15 as capacity charge by Cenit Energy for the twelve months in 2018,” the report stated further.
It, however, said Cenit supplied only 300.00kWh and 2,220,900.00kWh in August and December in 2018 respectively for the full year and advised management to ensure that exit clauses are considered extensively before signing contracts.
The report also indicted the ECG management for breaching the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921) by failing to establish an audit committee, while pointing out that the Board Sub-committee on Finance performs oversight responsibilities of audit committee function.
“We advised Management to establish an Audit Committee in accordance with the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921).”
The report stated that the auditors noted that ECG management procured prepayment meters and conductor 265sq.meters amounting to GH¢59,161,964.56 between 2014 and 2016.
“However, these items were not issued till the time of our inspection on 8th August 2019. We recommended to management to ensure that the prepayment meters and conductors are issued out to the users failing which the amount involved should be recovered from the officers who engaged in the procurement.”
“We noted that electrical materials amounting to GH¢11,581,019.21 were given out on loan to eight (8) beneficiary companies. These materials were issued between 2014 and 2018 without any specific terms of agreement,” the report said and urged management to pursue for the returns of these materials or the parties concerned should be made to pay for the cost of materials as considered appropriate before the materials become obsolete.
The report said 17 transformers were damaged within 2010 and 2013, but they were unable to ascertain the basis upon which the transformers with an average useful life of 35 years got damaged without use.
“We recommended to Management to safeguard assets procured and ensure that the faulty transformers are repaired or the Procurement Officers and Operations Directorate should be held responsible.”
“We noted during our review of the store summary report that the total amount of GH¢3,214,526.18 and GH¢1,746,094.89 were classified as stock surplus and shortage respectively. Management should strengthen supervision to safeguard assets.”
By Ernest Kofi Adu