Mr Speaker, I beg to move that, this Honourable House adopts the Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the Report of the Auditor- General on the Statement of Foreign Exchange Receipts and Payments of the Bank of Ghana for the half-year ended 31st December, 2012.
Mr Speaker --
The Report of the Auditor-General on the Statement of Foreign Exchange Receipts and Payments of the Bank of Ghana for the half-year ended 31st December, 2012, was presented to Parliament on Friday, 20th December 2013, in accordance with article 184 (3) of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.
Pursuant to Order 165 (2) of the Standing Orders of Parliament, the Rt Hon Speaker referred the Report to the Public Accounts Committee for consi- deration and report.
The Committee, in considering the Report, met with a Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Mr Millison Narh, a Deputy C o n t r o l l e r and Accountant-General, Mr Andrews Kingsley Kufe and representatives of the
Ministry of Finance, Bank of Ghana and the Controller and Accountant-General's Department.
On appearing before the Committee,
the witnesses subscribed to the oath of a witness and answered questions relating to issues raised in the Auditor-General's Report and on issues of general public interest.
The Deputy Auditor-General, Mr Yaw Agyei Sifah and a technical team from the Audit Service were also present at the Committee's sittings to assist in the consideration of the Report. Acknowledgement
The Committee expresses its gratitude to the Deputy Governor, the Deputy Controller and Accountant-General and all witnesses who a p p e a r e d before the Committee and assisted in its delibera-tions.
The Committee is also grateful to the Deputy Auditor-General and his team for their immense assistance to the Committee throughout the deliberations on the Report.
The Committee further extends its gratitude to STAR-Ghana, for their immense support to its activities. Finally, the Committee extends its appreciation to the media (print and electronic) for covering its proceedings.
The Committee availed itself of the following documents during its deliberations:
a. The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.
b. The Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana.
c. The Bank of Ghana Act, 2002 (Act 612).
d. The Foreign Exchange Act, 2006 (Act 723).
e. The Minerals and Mining Law, 1986 (PNDC Law 153).
f. The Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703).
Purpose and Scope of the Audit
The purpose of the audit was for the Auditor-General to ascertain and obtain reasonable assurance that the Statement of Foreign Exchange Receipts and Payments of the Bank of Ghana was free from material misstatements. It was also to ascertain whether the Bank of Ghana had maintained a proper system of internal control, as well as accurate and reliable records, to safeguard the foreign exchange resources of the Central Bank.
The audit covered a review of foreign exchange transactions relating to Bank of Ghana's Foreign Exchange Receipts and Payments and the Memorandum Account of Dealer Banks for the half-year ended 31st December 2012.
Overview of Foreign Exchange Receipts and Payments
Foreign Exchange Receipts
Foreign Exchange Receipts or inflows for the second-half of year 2012, were derived from cocoa, minerals, oil, capital receipts and foreign currency purchases.
The total Foreign Exchange Receipts or inflows for the period totalled US$4 ,302 ,889 ,264 compared to US$3,924,103,657 for the corresponding period of 2011.
This represents an increase of US$378,785,607 or 9.7 per cent. According to the Auditor-General, the
increase was mainly due to a rise in revenue from capital receipts, invisible receipts and revenue from oil.
The Committee noted that, only the portion of BoG's forex receipts exchanged for cedis were included in the compilation of foreign receipts. Foreign currencies which were deposited with BoG but were not surrendered for cedis were excluded from the statement.
Table 1 shows the composition of
foreign exchange receipts for the second- half of year 2012, as compared to the figures for the corresponding period of year 2011.
SPACE FOR TABLE 1 - PAGE 20
Foreign Exchange Payments
Foreign exchange payments on the other hand, consist of payments in foreign currency by BoG in exchange for its cedi equivalent. These payments are mainly to finance oil and non-oil imports, payments by order of the Controller and Accountant-General, payments to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Other forex payments include the sale of foreign exchange to dealer banks and forex bureaus.
Foreign exchange payments for the
second-half of year 2012, amounted to US$3,134.05 million, compared to US$3,262.07 million for the second- half of year 2011. Thus representing a decrease of US$128.02 million or 3.9 per cent. Table 2 shows a summary of BoG's foreign exchange payments for the second-half of year 2012, as compared to the second-half of year 2011.
SPACE FOR TABLE 2 - PAGE 21
Net Position of Foreign Exchange Receipts and Payments
As a result of increases in revenue from oil, as capital and invisible receipts, and the reduction in invisible payments, BoG recorded a net surplus of US$1,168,839,113 during the second half of year 2012. This represents an increase of US$506,802,392 or 76.6 per cent compared to a net surplus position of US$662,036,721, for the corresponding period of 2011.
Foreign Reserve Assets
BoG's Foreign Reserve Assets, as at 31st December 2012, was US$5,287,804,002. The total for the corresponding period of year 2011, was US$5,833,697,751. This shows a decrease of US$545,893,749 or 9.4 per cent. According to the Auditor- General, the drop in foreign reserves resulted mainly from the decreases in BoG's fixed deposits with foreign financial institutions and holdings on Special Drawing Rights (SDR). Details of the components of the Foreign Reserve Assets are shown in Table 3.