PAC gives NVTI ultimatum to refund funds
The Head of the Accounts Department of the National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI), Mr Paul Awuah, has been given three months by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament to produce documents on some financial transactions he had engaged in or pay the money involved into state coffers.
Mr Awuah, according to records available to the Auditor-General, engaged in some financial transactions on behalf of the NVTI for which he parted with GH¢11,112 and GH¢9,350.
However, when officials from the Auditor-General’s office looked into the financial records of the institute, they could not find the payment vouchers on those payments.
At the sitting of the PAC yesterday, a Deputy-Auditor General, Mr Yaw Sefa, said no files had been presented to his office on those payments and, therefore, he could not determine whether those payments had, indeed, been made or not.
Members of the committee, especially its Chairman, Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, expressed surprise at the development and said if by the end of December, Mr Awuah was not able to provide proof of payment to the Auditor-General, he should be surcharged with the amount involved.
The NVTI was also found to have breached the Financial Administration Act, 2003 (Act 654).
The act states, among other things, that government subvented organisations which also generate funds on their own should pay any surpluses made at the end of the year into the Consolidated Fund.
The NVTI, however, did not comply with that section of the law.
Mr Awuah expressed his lack of knowledge with regard to the law.
Failure to submit financial reports for scrutiny
It also came to light, during deliberations, that financial reports of the NVTI for 2007, 2008 and 2009 had not been finalised for validation by the Auditor-General as of July, 2011.
That, again, was a breach of the law.
Mr Awuah acknowledged that fact and described the lapse as ‘a fundamental mistake on our part’.
Another issue that was brought to the fore was the payment of the salaries of two persons who had left the NVTI.
Although the two had either resigned or retired, they continued to draw their salaries for some months.
But the Executive Director of the NVTI, Mr Stephen Bismark Amponsah, explained that anytime people left the institute, the Controller and Accountant-General’s Department (CAGD) was notified through writing.
However, he said, it took some time for the CAGD to delete the names of those people from the payroll, a situation which resulted in the payment of the salaries of the two, although they had either resigned or retired.
In the case of the two individuals, he said they had been made to pay the money back into government chest.
GIFEC and Courier Services
Next to appear were some agencies under the Ministry of Communications, namely, the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Services and the Post and Courier Services Regulatory Commission (PCSRC).
The team was led by the Minister of Communications, Dr Edward Omane-Boamah.
By Mark-Anthony Vinorkor/Daily Graphic/Ghana
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