A report of the Auditor-General, Mr. Daniel Yaw Domelevo, has revealed that a total amount of GH¢ 98,894,465.39 had been lost to the nation due to irregularities in eight Technical Universities and two Polytechnics. This is contained in a report the Auditor-General submitted to Parliament on the Public Accounts of Ghana – Technical Universities and Polytechnics for the period ended 31 December, 2018.
A trend analysis from 2014 to 2018 in the report showed an increasing recurrence of these irregularities in the institutions.
Touching on outstanding debtors / loans/ recoverable charges, the AG recommended that management of the Technical Universities and Polytechnics should pursue recovery of the loans granted and resort to legal action where necessary. He tasked these institutions to improve on supervision and ensure that schedule officers update all advances in the records.
Under cash irregularities, Mr Domelevo advised management of the institutions to improve the control environment including the establishment and effective operations of Internal Audit Units. He added that these institutions should enhance the supervision over accounting staff to minimize the recurrence of these irregularities. He also urged them to authenticate all payment vouchers and adhere to the provision of the Financial Administration Regulations (FAR).
The AG also recommended that Technical Universities and Polytechnics should ensure effective coordination between the administration heads and accounts units in order to provide timely information concerning separated staff for prompt deletion of the names from the payroll. He noted that Management should notify bankers of separated staff and ensure prompt recovery and payments to government chest of the monies that banks have withheld to reduce and eradicate payroll irregularities.
With regard to procurement and stores irregularities, the AG urged management of the respective institutions to adhere strictly to the provisions of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (as amended). In addition, these institutions, he said, should improve supervision over stores items and set up adequate stock control systems.
He also tasked Finance Officers to adhere to tax laws to ensure that all tax revenues are promptly collected and paid to the revenue agencies.
On contract irregularities which amounted to GH¢78,890,102.57, he recommended to Management to exercise due diligence in the award of contracts as well as strengthen controls over contracts and comply with tendering procedures.
The Auditor-General added that officers responsible for over-payment of contract sums may be surcharged appropriately.