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85% of SoEs have submitted financial reports; delays due to COVID and technicalities – SIGA

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The Director-General of the State Interests and Governance Authority (SIGA), Stephen Asamoah-Boateng, has clarified delays in the submission of financial accounts of State-Owned Enterprises.

It follows a revelation by the Finance Minister to the effect that, 47 public enterprises have failed in submitting financial reports to the government in the last six years.

But speaking on Citi TV’s Point of View on Wednesday, July 28, 2021, the SIGA Director-General said the financial reports between 2012 and 2016 have been submitted.

“When I came in, I told you 2012 accounts had not been audited and the Minister is talking about 2016, so it means that we have covered between 2012 and 2016 and that’s a significant change. At least between 2012 and 2016, most of the accounts have been submitted and accounted for.”

“What the Minister is talking about is from 2016, and I know why. We were having a backlog from 2012, and we can’t get all of them at the same time. There are data that the auditors must go and collect, there is getting auditors on time. All these things are at play, which takes time for the auditors to go in.”

He however blamed the delays on the COVID-19 outbreak and other things he referred to as technicalities.

“2016 till now delayed because they were dealing with the other ones. There is always a backlog, but there are about 47 entities that have not done it, but have had almost cleared it. Last year, we sent in the auditors quickly, but COVID-19 came in, so we had to give leeway and say that because of the COVID-19 we can take out the reporting date, so we don’t punish you for that”.

Mr. Asamoah Boateng added that about 85 percent of the statutory bodies have submitted the reports, but the difficulties with the Finance Ministry recording the reports as submitted is because they are yet to be signed.

“So there are a few problems, but I can tell you that percentage-wise, about 85 percent of the SOEs have submitted their audited accounts up until 2020, but they have not been signed. Here is the technicality, there are those who send the accounts to us and those who send them to the Finance Ministry. He the [Minister] wants to see them signed, so if they are not signed, he has not seen them.”

“But there are delays, and we are all aware of it. We have them, but the unsigned version. These are technical things that unfortunately we are dealing with. So when the Minister talks about it, he is talking about signed ones,” he added.

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