The management of the Tamale Technical University paid a total amount of GHS82,962.25 as book and research allowances to eleven officers who are on study leave abroad in contravention with the Section 82 (2) of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921) the Auditor General report for 2019 has revealed.
The Auditor-General has, therefore, recommended that in the absence of a satisfactory justification for the payment, the allowances paid should be refunded by the beneficiaries or the Vice-Chancellor and the Acting Director of Finance should be held accountable.
The report further disclosed that payments amounting to GHS61,506 on seven vouchers were not supported with the relevant and appropriate documents like receipts, invoices, claim sheets and reports to authenticate the transactions.
“We recommended to the Ag. Director of Finance and the cashier to make available the relevant and appropriate supporting documents for our review, failure of which the amounts should be refunded by the authorizing and paying officers,” the report noted.
Also, an amount of GHS46,537.62 was paid from 11 vouchers for works and services carried out without any certification or justification to show that the works had been properly carried out.
In its recommendation, the auditor general said the management must recover the total amount from the authorizing and approving officers in the absence of proper certification and same paid to chest.
‘Furthermore, management should ensure that all works done and all services rendered were properly certified before payments are made,” the report said.
Further revelations of monies spent without justification were disclosed in the report;
Below are further revelations:
1. Management obtained three invoices from different suppliers to support the procurement of furniture worth GH¢17,300.00 which was Report of the Auditor-General on Public Accounts of Ghana –Technical Universities and Polytechnics for 11 the Period Ended 31 December 2019 ultimately procured from ZIFA Enterprise, however, two of the pro-forma invoices had the same telephone numbers suggesting they were obtained from the same supplier. We recommended to management to ensure effective monitoring and supervision of procurement activities to ensure transparency and fair competition in procurement processes to guarantee value for money.
2. The University paid GH¢4,118,656.88 for the construction of five (5) GETFund projects, however, work on these projects which were at various stages of completion have been stalled. We recommended management liaise with the GETFund Secretariat to ensure funds are made available to complete the projects on time to serve their intended purposes.
3. The University failed to bond three temporary revenue collectors at the Clinic to ensure financial security and guarantee. We recommended to the management of the University to ensure that the temporary revenue collectors are bonded as soon as possible whiles steps are taken to engage permanent revenue collectors at the clinic to forestall any incidence of financial irregularities.
4. Management and other eligible staff of the Polytechnic are yet to declare their Assets and Liabilities as required. We recommended to management to ensure all eligible officers of the Polytechnic do so without fail.
5. A review of the thirty-four (34) tertiary programmes run by the University revealed that, only three (3) of the programmes representing 9% had valid accreditation. We recommended to management to expedite action on getting accreditation for all programmes without further delay to ensure students are not denied of their certificates after completing their courses of study.
6. The University failed to approve its draft policies and procedure documents regarding the general administration and management of its operations. We recommended to management to expedite the approval of these draft policies and procedure documents to make them operational to guide the general management and administration of the University.
7. The absence of internet connectivity to the University’s E-Library project has rendered it non-functional and currently being used as an office for the Librarian. We recommended to management to ensure internet connectivity to the E-Library facility to make it functional in order to achieve the objectives for which it was established.
8. A Business Development Unit established by the University to serve as a lead department for promoting revenue generation has not been effective in producing the needed results. We recommended to management of the University to institute an investigation into why the BDU is unable to win contract bids which is core to the unit. We also urged management to ensure comprehensive policies and implementation guidelines are developed for the BDU’s operations.
9. Stockpiles of expired drugs dating as far back as 2018 are still stored on the shelves of the Pharmacy store of the University Clinic. We recommended to management to expeditiously constitute a Board of Survey to facilitate the disposal of the expired drugs. Furthermore, management should put in place proper store management controls to rid the shelves of all expired drugs and to detect those that are nearing the end of their shelve lives or drugs to prevent them from being served out to patients. They are also to train the pharmacy attendants to build their capacity in order to ensure proper storage of drugs to enhance their potency.
10. The backup data of the University’s accounting software transactions have not been consolidated and tested to ensure continuity in the University’s business in the event of a disaster. We recommended to Report of the Auditor-General on Public Accounts of Ghana –Technical Universities and Polytechnics for 13 the Period Ended 31 December 2019 management to develop a comprehensive Business Continuity Plan to ensure non-interruption of the University’s business activities in times of a disaster.
11. The University procured a MAK-EDU Accounting software through sole-sourcing with approval from the Public Procurement Authority, however, management could not produce any documentations on the Business Case and User Requirements of the software. We recommended to management to make available documents on the software for our review. Furthermore, management should ensure before investing in an ICT infrastructure project, Business Case and Standard User Requirements are developed and documented.
12. The University did not have a documented ICT Strategy and well-structured ICT governance framework to ensure alignment of ICT with the University’s business needs. We recommended to Management to establish an ICT committee to develop ICT governance framework and strategy which would ensure the alignment of ICT with the University’s business needs.
13. The University lacked adequate control system for the custody and management of its assets. We recommended to management to ensure that the Ag. Director of Finance completes the asset register with all the required details and update same for our verification and review.