General News of Thursday, 26 January 2017
Members of the Korle Bu Senior Staff Association (KOSSA) have expressed regret, though not surprised about management of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital’s involvement in alleged financial mismanagement, administrative and management misjudgments again.
The group has called for the interdiction of Dr Gilbert Buckle, the CEO, Director of Finance and the Internal Auditor with immediate effect!., and a forensic audit be undertaken under Dr. Gilbert Buckle’s tenure.
It also expressed the need for a new Board and Management teams be put in place as a matter of urgency and that the CEO, Dr Gilbert Buckle, led administration must not be allowed to organize the leadership training at GIMPA at the expense of the KBTH at the cost of about one hundred thousand Cedis (100.000) in February, 2017.
According to KOSSA, though they are not surprised at the development, since management is noted for that over years, the only difference now is that, the KBTH Management has succeeded in outsmarting the Board in this particular sordid financial affair, of which “for once, they are not speaking the same language of falsehood.”
KOSSA’s views were contained in a press release signed by Augustine Sowah, Vice President of KOSSA, indicated that, this current financial tango between the Board and Management of the Hospital, where Management is alleged to have paid over one hundred thousand cedis so-called ‘bonuses’ to a few at the blind side of the Board, additionally vindicates KOSSA in the situation of highlighting act of malfeance since 2009, and justifies their frequent squabbles with those in authority for being wrong in their actions most of the times.
The release has it that, “the unfortunate reasons why these have festered on for so long had been the failure or refusal or connivance of those in authority to crack the whip and put deviants in line with correctness.”
Making references to some correspondence between KOSSA and the powers that be, which were loudly ignored from the Ministry of Health, through to the seat of Government, they indicated two main letters/reports dated 16th April, 2016 and expressly addressed to the Minister of Health, with the heading: ACTS OF IMPUNITY BY THE KORLE BU TEACHING HOSPITAL BOARD AND management, and 20/05/2016 again addressed to the Minister of Health titled: CONSOLIDATION OF FINANCIAL IRREGULARITIES TO RUN DOWN THE KORLE-BU TEACHING HOSPITAL (KBTH) BY UNPATRIOTIC PERSONS IN AUTHORITY – FRAUDULENT ELEVATION OF THE KBTH’s INTERNAL AUDITOR TO THE STATUS OF A DIRECTOR, as evidence of steps they have taken to bring sanity to the hospital.
Below is the full press release issued by KOSSA on mismanagement of Korle Bu Teaching Hospital finances:
“…… for clarity of circumstances leading to this dubious December 2016 payments by Management to Management of the Hospital, I quote sections of our letter to the Minister, eight months ago:
‘We do recall that in 2014, a memo signed by the then Ag Chief Administrator dated 17th June, 2014 indicated, “ELEVATION OF THE INTERNAL AUDIT TO A DIRECTORATE”. This was copied to all Heads of Departments and all Directors.
‘KOSSA responded to this anomally in our letter dated 3rd July, 2014 addressed to the Hon. Minister for Health and copied others. No response came, even no acknowledgement from the then Minister Hon. Alex Segbefia.
‘Following that, on 24th November, 2014 in our letter, ‘PETITION ON CONFIRMATION OF CHIEF INTERNAL AUDITOR’, addressed to the then Board Chairman, Mr. Edward Annan and copied the Minister of Health reiterated our objections to this move. Still we had no response.
‘In this petition, we raised points of objection for this massive fraud on the Hospital. These included objections that, various financial irregularities, including those listed above, emanated under the watch of the Ag. CIA, which did not warrant his confirmation. This fell on deaf ears, and we were surprised; but later fully became aware that, his wrongful confirmation suited the agenda of the ‘powers that be’, to the detriment of the health of the Hospital’s finances, service to patients, staff and well-being of the state of Ghana. This action has been duly queried by External Auditors who audited this institution.
‘To worsen the situation and confirm our suspicion on the trend of fraud trend since 2009, a letter dated 24th February 2015 and signed by Dr Gilbert Buckle, Chief Executive Officer with the heading, “ADDENDUM TO CONDITIONS OF SERVICE FOR CHIEF INTERNAL AUDITOR (CIA)”,and referenced as number KB/P 8503. This letter is personalized to the Chief Internal Auditor, Mr. Stephen Ayer Perdison, and warranted payments and arrears of about ¢100,000.00 to him. The credible question is, was this payment budgeted for? And was it the person who has been elevated or the Internal Audit Unit of the Hospital?
‘It is thus clear that, these enhanced ‘conditions of service’ to the person of Mr. Perdison is part of the gratuitous design of compromising laid-down processes and procedures for accountability and transparency in the Hospital. It is enlighten to note that all the infractions queried by the Ghana Audit Service were ‘checked’ by Mr. Perdison but did not meet the test of professionalism. What then justifies this illegal enhancement packages. The answer is obvious.
‘We have also noticed that the addendum of benefits for the CIA, as against the rule, is in the same for line Directors of the Hospital. So the question is if the unit has not been elevated to a Directorate, why should heads of units be accorded same benefits as Directors of the Hospital? We are not against conditions of service for any position but our position is that the regulations must be respected and processes and procedures duly followed. There should be fairness and transparency in awarding, motivating and rewarding staff so as to avoid discrimination and under-hand dealings.
‘The Chief Internal Auditor’s participation and involvement in the regular decision-making process of Hospital Management and Board is the institutionalization of compromising the audit system and processes for open fraud and corruption in the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital’.
As if by grand design, the former minister of Health hardly responded to the numerous calls to salvage the Hospital. The Minister’s long lackadaisical attitude rather reinforced the embodiment of the rapist’s wrong doers to wrongfully interdict KOSSA President Mr. Charles Ofei-Palm. He has duly sued the Board and Management at the High Court.There are other similar cases in the courts.
KOSSAis very surprised that the immediate-past Government appointees to the Board are today claiming innocence of the outrageous payments allegedly made by the Dr Gilbert Buckle Management to itself. We at KOSSA do not believe this. But we ask, since when did Professor Mawuli Sallar and his Board lose confidence in Dr Gilbert Buckle and his leadership style? When we raised the preventive red flags about Dr Buckle, did he and his Board not rubbish it and came after us?
At the time, we thought as the ‘father’ of the Hospital, it would have been the best time for the Board Chairman to understand the issues. But he decided to play the political game with the issues and enhanced systematic fleecing of the Hospital. Are the Board members not complaining now just because the Management has outsmarted them this time round?
We are not surprised by the actions of the current Management headed by Dr Gilbert Buckle to have paid themselves huge sums of monies as this due to their penchant for abuse of power, mismanagement and misappropriation of funds, with tacit support of the Prof Mawuli Sallar Board.
It is worthy to note that, Dr Buckle in 2015 had said he had stopped allowance payments until rationalization of such which he claimed was concluded in November, 2016. If so, where is the Board’s approval for such payments? Did he approve himself because his contract ends 1st February 2017?? Is it not a clear case of create, loot and share?
Is it now not very clear that the Board and Management disregarded our protest to elevate the person of the Chief Internal Auditor to the status and position of mainline administrator to compromise his mandate to properly check expenditure?
Any wonder therefore that the Chief Internal Auditor, Mr. Stephen Perdison also benefitted a whooping ¢25,250.00 as Christmas bonanza? Why could he not query how genuine this payment was? Why did he enjoy it? This same Mr. Perdison was at post under the Eddie Annan Board with Rev Okpoti as CEO when all the corrupt acts were perpetrated. He is again at the centre of this saga. Can we all now see the culmination of the plot of events since 2014 and the appropriateness of our complaint in the KOSSA petition letter dated 3rd July 2014?
So it can be realised without any ambiguity that, intramural services and payments thereof are purely restricted to clinical staff. The question is, are these alleged beneficiaries within the clinical sector or within management? Why did all the management staff not benefit from the deal? Why did the Board not approve of the payment? Was the payment budgeted for? Is it true that the new Director for Finance, who is only four months old in the Hospital, also ‘enjoyed’ the 21 months back-pay?
The excuse given by the kbth management in their press release is not tenable because those clinicians doing the intramural in the clinical areas can attest to the fact that they who are supposed to receive the highest of the intramural allowance has not received such.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr Gilbert Buckle, the Director of Finance Bright Korkuyie and the Chief Internal Auditor Mr. Perdison among others, with all these lingering infractions of the rules and regulations, with impunity and careless abandon thus paid themselves a total of GHc306,000 with the CEO receiving ¢36,250.00,each director received GHc25,250 and same amount was received by the CIA Mr. Perdison allegedly at the blind side of the Board of Directors of the Hospital:
The purpose(s) for which the payments were made still remain unknown; so we are still asking questions and seeking answers. How did Management come to benefit from this money as a 21 month back-pay? How on earth? What level of impunity, disregard for honour and dignity is this? How can persons deemed honorable engage in alleged plain thievery and arbitrariness? Why could the Director of Administration fail to advice that such payments could be inappropriate and misplaced? Why did the Chief Internal Auditor fail in his duty? What is the competence of the Chief Executive? Why was it the Director of Finance that is alleged to have initiated payment and not the Director of Administration? Any doubt that this could be a high incidence of incompetence allowed for looting?
Ladies and gentlemen! Fellow Ghanaians,
Do these issues not support KOSSA warnings given many years ago for which most Ghanaians came after us and called us names? Would such people have the humility and honour to apologize to us?
Further questions that hinge on the competence of the whole management include:
Did management seek approval from the Board and who authorized the payment?
What kind of intramural services did they provide to warrant this payment?
Are the beneficiaries the only persons in Management at the Hospital? Or this payment was secluded to a click of favorites in a cult or club?
What role did the Chief Internal Auditor play in all this?
Are they privy to the requirements of Financial Administration laws and regulations?
Whose role according to the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 is it to appraise and report on the soundness and application of the control systems, provide assurance on the efficiency, effectiveness and economy in the administration of the programs and operations of the entity, evaluate compliance of a covered entity with enactments, policies, standards, systems and procedures?
KORLE BU TODAY
Fellow Ghanaians of integrity and fortitude!
Today the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital is a far cry from its place of pride eight years ago. The Hospital today only survives on past glories. This is not good at all.
What are our immediate recommendations to sanitize the Hospital?
That Dr Gilbert Buckle, the CEO, Director of Finance and the Internal Auditor be interdicted with immediate effect!.
That forensic audit be undertaken under Dr. Gilbert Buckle’s tenure.
That a new Board and Management teams be put in place as a matter of urgency.
That the CEO, Dr Gilbert Buckle, led administration must not be allowed to organize the leadership training at GIMPA at the expense of the KBTH at the cost of about one hundred thousand cedis (100.000) in February, 2017
KOSSA hopes the incoming Minister for Health will be more concerned and proactive with the KBTH than his predecessors.
It is also our hope that new Board members to be appointed will be persons of integrity, competence and compassion.
Ladies and gentlemen and fellow patriotic Ghanaians!
At the time KOSSA was formed, we thought we were going to work with responsible officials for the mutual benefit of all Ghanaians. Unfortunately, soon after assumption of office, we had to enter battles of our lives to prevent the Hospital from descending into disuse. It is our hope that, with a new government, the paradigms will be positive. We shall have leaders who merit the name to get staff well motivated and psyched for efficient and effective service delivery to the satisfaction of the Ghanaian people. These we hope will move the Hospital forward, lives will be saved and not lost, for the Hospital to resume and excel its place of honour as the largest single facility in West Africa.
Mr. Augustine Sowah
Vice President (KOSSA)