Five accounts belonging to the Ministry of Finance were hamstrung in 2021 because of court orders relating to the payment of judgment debts.
These include the Ministry of Finance’s Sub Consolidated Fund, the Chief Director’s Bank Accounts, the Special Fiscal Programmes & Payments, Investor Relations Payments and Ghana Cares accounts.
According to the Auditor General’s report on the audit of Ministries, Departments and Agencies, the Ministry was unable to use the five accounts for any transactions.
The amounts of money in these accounts were however not indicated in the report.
The Ministry of Finance’s Sub Consolidated Fund and Chief Director’s Bank Accounts were garnished by a court in July 2021 while the remaining three accounts were garnisheed in March 2021.
Sweater & Sock Factory Ltd, D.K. Owusu & 85 Others, Togbe Anku Woade and Chude Mba obtained judgments against four MDAs leading to the garnishee orders on the said accounts for the payment of judgment debts amounting to GH¢54.4 million.
According to the report, the Ministry of Finance explained that most of the Garnishee Orders were occasioned by other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) that did not pay for goods and services supplied and judgment debts arising from cases brought against them.
The report noted that, the Ministry of Finance indicated that in many instances, the Ministry was not informed about the court proceedings and subsequent Garnishee Orders to enable its Legal Unit to make legal representations at the courts.
The Auditor General recommended that the cause of the Garnishee Orders should be investigated, and appropriate sanctions applied if anyone is found culpable.
It also urged the Ministry of Finance should seek advice from the Office of the Attorney General and Minister for Justice on the way forward in relation to the garnishee orders.