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22.10.2014 Health

Rot At Korle-Bu

By Daily Guide
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Rev Albert Okpoti Botchwey
An audit conducted by the Ghana Audit Service into the expenditure of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) has revealed huge misappropriation of funds by the former officials of the hospital.

The interim audit report which is circulating in the media cited top officials of the hospital and directed the former Acting Chief Executive, Rev Albert Okpoti Botchwey, former Board Chair, Eddie Annan and Prof Afua Hesse to refund amount totalling GH¢966,116.97.

According to the report which tackled issues concerning procurement, cash management, payroll, project and transport management and revenue accounts, irregular allowances paid to non-executive and executive members of the board by the former managers have caused the loss of GH¢118,461.04 to the hospital.

The board was accused of the appointment of a non-executive member of the board, Godfred Ahianyo, to head a three-committee to audit various processes of some of the officials of the hospital.

The auditors said his appointment was without terms of reference and was not in the administration set up of the hospital.

Also, unapproved sitting allowances amounting to GH¢67,577.75 was uncovered by the audit.

The report said the Korle-Bu board unilaterally increased members' sitting allowance from GH¢1,500 to GH¢2,000 for the chairman and from GH¢1,000 to GH¢1,500 for other members on May 2014.

The account from the audit also showed irregular allowance paid the Deputy Director of Administration and special assistant to Rev Okpoti Botchwey, Mrs Cynthia Boateng, when she was made to attend board meetings.

As a result of the board meetings she attended, a sum of GH¢6,300 was paid to her as sitting allowance, the report revealed.

The auditors maintained the increases in the sitting allowance were not approved by the Finance and Health Minister as required by law.

Another instance of financial misappropriation concerned expenditure of GH¢51,096.74 as retirement package for former acting Chief Administrator of the hospital, Efua Hesse.

Prof Efua Hesse, who was the medical director of the hospital, and acted as a chief administrator of the hospital for nine months and retired in September last year was paid a retirement package of GH¢51,096.74.

In addition, the report said her official vehicle, a VW Passat procured in 2011 by the hospital at a cost of GH¢ 44,078 was given to her as gratis.

According to the audit report, the board breached the laws that required the Finance Minister's approval before such payments could be made.

Korle-Bu Response
The new management of the hospital in response to the findings of the audit report said the hospital is in the process of responding to the observation made by the audit service on the 2014 expenditures of Korle- Bu.

'The submitted audit observations do not constitute a final report,' a response from the hospital's Public Relations Unit stated.

Mustapha Salifu, Head of the KBTH Public Relations Unit, stated that the management of the hospital is currently in the process of addressing the observations submitted by the Central Government Audit Department (CGAD) of the audit service, adding that it has not got a stage where individuals mentioned in the observations are to be contacted.

'The hospital sincerely apologises to individuals mentioned in the stories for any embarrassment that the reports may have caused them,' it stated.

By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri

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