The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament has asked management of the Wa Regional Hospital to refund GH¢25,610.20 to the state.
Dr. James Klutse Avedzi, Chairman, PAC, gave the directive at the Committee’s sitting in Accra to consider the Auditor-General’s 2019 Report on Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs).
He said if the original amount had been reduced from GH¢199,155.25 to GH¢25,610.20, then the management must refund the amount.
According to the Report, unsupported pay vouchers (PVs) of an amount of GH¢199,155.25 expenditure were made by the Wa Regional Hospital.
Mr. Mohammed Saani Alhassan, a former Head of Finance of the Wa Regional Hospital, who was at the Committee’s sitting, said he was invited by Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to respond to the issue.
At this point, Dr. Avedzi, who said the current Head of Finance of the Wa Regional Hospital, was supposed to represent the Hospital at the Committee’s sitting, asked the Director-General why he invited the former Head of Finance.
To this, Dr. Kuma-Aboagye replied that the Service had to invite the former Head of Finance of the Wa Regional Hospital because most of the current staff did not have any idea about the issue and that was why they felt that Mr. Alhassan should come and speak about the issue.
Dr. Alhassan told the Committee that he could not recall the number of PVs involved but the amount involved was GH¢199,155.25.
He said following the external audit, the Management of the Hospital responded by asking the individual staff involved to produce receipts to support their PVs, which reduced the amount from GH¢199,155.25 to GH¢77,117, which was further reduced to GH¢25,610.20.
He said most of the payments were to individual staff members of the Hospital, and that the auditors had advised that they should write to the individuals to provide the receipts of their activities.
“Mostly, people go on workshops and other activities and when they come, they are expected to come with their receipts for the workshop or when you are going on official trips, we money out, you may have to come and retire your fuel (imprest), if it is a flight that you joined, you have to come with the receipt for the flight. So, these were the activities,” he stated.
He said the individuals involved produced their receipts with the exception of Dr. Barnabas Gandau, the former Medical Director of the Wa Regional Hospital.
Mr. Alhassan said the outstanding balance of GH¢25,610.20 was in the name of Dr. Gandau.
“We wrote to them (individual of the Hospital) and one individual who was the former Medical Director of the Hospital, when the letter was sent to him, he actually didn’t take possession – an officer was sent from Wa to him in Tamale and he refused to take the letter,” Mr. Alhassan said.
Dr. Avedzi tasked the Auditors to follow up on the claim that the money had been reduced from GH¢199,155.25 to GH¢25,610.20 to establish that first by getting feedback from their Regional Office in Wa for them to confirm that they had verified and that the only outstanding was the GH¢25,610.20.
In a related development, PAC at Thursday’s sitting also surcharged the Management of Ankaful Psychiatric Hospital to refund GH¢2,770.00 to the state, being expenditure captured in the Report without PVs.