The Government of Ghana pays over GH¢94 million to individuals and companies in judgement debt yearly, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance, has revealed.
He explained that most of the judgement debts are due to court orders for breaches of contracts as well as compensations for personal injury claims and acquisitions.
Mr Ofori-Atta made the revelation on the floor of Parliament in an answer to question posed by Mr Cassiel Ato Forson, the Ranking Member on Finance, about how much government has paid in judgement debt from January 2017 to date.
Mr Ofori-Atta also said the current administration has paid over GH¢280 million in judgement debt since it assumed power in 2017.
He said government upon assumption of office in January 2017 met an outstanding judgement debt of over GH¢489 million.
He explained that a number of cases have been pending in court, out of which over GH¢197 million has crystallized, bringing the total amount to GH¢ 679,076,438.15
Mr Ofori-Atta said some of these payments are legitimate outcomes of court cases, but others are painful because they were borne out of unethical behaviours of officers who have been entrusted with the responsibility to take care of the country’s resources.
He said these judgment debts which are unpredictable continue to pose serious risks to the country’s budget, and announced that steps have been taken to minimize the cases of judgement debts as much as possible.
This, he said, includes “prioritizing judgement cases within legal departments, ensuring proper settlement record and negotiating with claimants to avoid expensive courts cases and judgements.”
(By Christopher Arko)