The headmistress of Mpohor Senior High School has been asked to refund an amount of GHS32,550.00 to the school and be sanctioned as required under Section 96 of the Public Financial Management Act (Act921) for collecting unapproved sanitation fees of GHS15.00 per semester from 1,085 students.
This recommendation was contained in the 2019 Auditor-General’s report.
In a similar case of misappropriation of funds, the report revealed that the headmaster and the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) of the Kpone Community Senior High School, converted part of the E-block of the school to a hostel and collected a total of GHS132,096.00 as fees without authorisation.
The report has, thus, recommended that the headmaster and the P.T.A Chairman refund the amount of GHS132,096.00 collected from the students.
Also, the management of Mankessim Senior High Technical School, the report discovered, failed to recover an outstanding amount of GHS16,179.00 from six students who allegedly stole computers and accessories valued at GHS21,365.00 and damage to school properties costing GHS810.00.
The Auditor-General recommended that the headmaster pursue and ensure prompt recovery of the amount.
Below are some of the findings in the A-G report:
1. We noted that in 2018 the Principal of Ola College of Education contracted a loan of GH¢250,000.00 with an interest of GH¢300,000.00 from Akatakyiman Rural Bank without approval from the College Council, Director-General of Ghana Education Service, Minister for Education or the Minister for Finance contrary to Section 25 of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016, Act 921. We recommended that the Principal and the Accountant should desist from the practice and always seek approval from the appropriate authority before loans are contracted. We further recommended that the two officers should be duly sanctioned for non-compliance with the Act.
2. We noted that St. Augustine’s College paid unclaimed Scholarship bursaries of GH¢9,258.00 to the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) instead of the Scholarship Secretariat contrary to Regulation 78 of the Public Financial Management Regulations, 2019 (L.I.2378). We recommended to management to recover the total amount of GH¢9,258.00 from EOCO and pay same to the Scholarship Secretariat. 9 Report of the Auditor-General on the Public Accounts of Ghana – Pre-University Educational Institutions for the year ended 31 December 2019
3. Management of Adjoafua Senior High school and Dadieso Senior High School failed to deposit a total amount of GH¢24,108.00 collected in the schools’ accounts before spending as required by law and rather directly expended it on various activities contrary to Regulation 50 of the Public Financial Management Regulations, 2019 (LI. 2378). We recommended that all payment of fees should be made by bankers draft or payment orders to avoid losses in future.
4. Our audit disclosed that 15 members of staff from three institutions in Central Region did not retire a total imprest of GH¢117,487.33 granted to them after discharging their respective official assignments contrary to Regulation 102 of the public Financial Management Regulation 2019. We recommended that the funds should be adjusted to personal advance accounts in the name of the imprest holders and recovered accordingly. 31. Managements of 41 institutions in 12 Regions could not substantiate total payments of GHȼ3,371,391.80 for goods and services with the relevant supporting documents to authenticate them contrary to Regulation 78 of the Public Financial Management Regulations (PFMR), 2019 (L.I. 2378). We recommended that the Heads of the institutions and their Accountants should refund the amount to the schools’ accounts.
5. We noted that managements of two institutions in two regions overpaid two suppliers by GH¢20,942.13 contrary to Regulation 78 of Public Financial Management Regulation 2019 (L.I 2378). We recommended that, the overpayments should be recovered from the suppliers, failure of which the Headmasters and Accountants should be held liable.
6. Contrary to Section 7 of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921), Manhean Senior High Technical School made a direct debit of GH¢19,298.79 in favour of the Director-General of Ghana Education Service (GES). We recommended to management to provide the relevant justification for the transfer, failing which the total amount of GH¢19,298.79 should be recovered from GES or in default the amount should be refunded by the Headmistress and the Accountant.
7. We noted that the Management of Ashanti School for the Deaf, Jamasi, spent an amount of GH¢11,258.00 on maintenance of their official vehicle (GV2132X, Ford Ranger Pick-up) within a period of six (6) months. We recommended that the vehicle should be boarded and the Headmistress (Ms Vida Aidoo) writes to the various stakeholders to assist the school in the acquisition of a new vehicle to replace the current one
8. Management of Hwidiem Senior High school failed to disburse an amount of GH₵ 31,500.00 received under Secondary Education Improvement Project (SEIP) for the benefit of 42 students contrary to Section 7 of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921). We recommended to management to contact the fund providers and obtain approval to pay the students in cash or allow parents and guardians to open accounts in trust for the students for onward transfer of the amounts to the students.
9. We noted that the Atebubu College of Education paid Research and Book Allowances totalling GH¢147,746.30 to 29 tutors who failed to submit their research proposals for review, certification and publication contrary to Regulation 78 of the Public Financial Management Regulations (PFMR), 2019 (L.I. 2378). We recommended to management to recover the amount from the 29 tutors, failing which, the amount of GH¢147,746.30 should be refunded by the Acting Principal and the Finance Officer. We further recommended that the Acting Principal should ensure that in future, book and research allowances are paid to only tutors whose research proposals have been reviewed, certified and published by the Staff Development and Research Committee.
10. Management of six schools in four Regions could not account for fuel and other lubricants purchased totalling GH¢95,446.52 contrary to Regulation 78 of the Public Financial Management Regulations (PFMR), 2019 (L.I. 2378). We recommended that the Headmasters, Accountants and Transport officers should refund the amount involved.
11. Our audit revealed that three Schools from two Regions procured receipt books without seeking approval from the Controller and Accountant-General contrary to Regulation 147 of the Public Financial Management Regulation, 2019 (L.I 2378). We recommended to the Headmasters to either buy the General Counterfoil Receipt books from the Controller and Accountant General’s Department or seek approval to print them. 39. Eight schools from four Regions are using accounting software without the approval of the Auditor-General. We recommended to the respective managements to seek approval from the Auditor-General, failure of which the schools should suspend application of the software and the Headmasters and Accountants sanctioned.