General News of Wednesday, 4 March 2015
The Auditor General has indicted the Ghana Health Service (GHS) for various financial irregularities amounting to over 8 million Ghana cedis.
According to the latest report by the Auditor General, the institution ignored budgetary control procedures that raise serious questions about how millions of taxpayer’s money were spent.
The report indicates some of the cash cannot even be accounted for. Some contracts awarded to third party institutions by the service also lacked transparency, the report reveals.
According to the report, the ministry spent some Ghc390,000 on the payment of medical bills of members of the public although there was no budgetary provision for that expenditure.
Ghc485,000 was paid to private companies for haulage services without the necessary supporting documents such as waybills and receipts.
This, the Auditor General noted, made it impossible to confirm whether the goods – including 3000 beds and mattresses from the Central Medical Stores – reached their destinations.
The ministry ordered 10 swivel chairs from Al Souk Company Limited and Anish Services at a total cost of Ghc18,900, however, eight of the chairs broke down within a month, an indication the chairs were of inferior quality.
Furthermore, out of the Ghc44,000 proceeds from the auction of properties of the Health Service, only Ghc7000 have been paid so far leaving Ghc37,000 uncounted for.
The Auditor General also revealed that the service also awarded six contracts totaling Ghc7.35 million through sole sourcing – a move the laws of Ghana frowns up.
Also, according to the report, the Ghana Health Service wrongly applied price quotation method in 18 procurement transactions totaling Ghc400,000.
The service also paid over Ghc32,000 in unearned salaries through wrongful payments made to four retired officers and two officers on study leave.
The report recommends that some top officials of the Ghana Health Service and the Health Ministry should be held liable.
The Ghana Health Service is an autonomous public institution responsible for implementation of national policies under the control of the Health Ministry through its governing Council – the Ghana Health Service Council.