The Education Ministry is fighting off claims it misapplied ¢19 million allocated to the Free SHS account for the implementation of the government’s flagship programme.
The Auditor-General in its report to the Speaker of Parliament said between January and July 2019, over 19 million cedis allocated for the free SHS were advanced to two institutions – NACCA and GES – without definite terms of recovery.
“We noted during our review that between January 2019 and July 2019, a total of 19, 217,802 received for free SHS to be utilized for various plan activities were rather advanced to two institutions without definite terms of recovery as of the time of Audit, management has not recovered the amount from the beneficiary,” noted the Auditor general. But, the Ministry of Education has been setting the records straight on the misapplication of the funds.
According to a statement from the Education Ministry, in 2019, the minister of education approved the said amount to be borrowed from the free SHS account to support urgent activities of the national council for curriculum and assessment and the Ghana Education Service. These activities were to be funded by the Ghana Accountability and Learning Outcomes Project, a basic education reform project funded by the world bank (GALOP).
GALOP at that time had not released the funds to NACCA and GES to implement the time-bound activities. NACCA and GES have since paid the borrowed amount into the free senior high school accounts. Meanwhile, the Director-General of the Internal Audit Agency, Dr Eric Oduro Osae says auditors have made significant progress in reducing wastage in the public sector.
“I think internal Auditors have to be commended for the effort. For the year, they have put in a lot of measures one is the naming and shaming and even working with EOCO and office of the Special Prosecutor to prosecute people who misapplied fund,” he said. “Let me also say that under the PSM we have a number of interventions every public sector institution has an audit committee. These audit committees are chaired by independent Chartered Accountants from the Institute of Chartered Accountant and Internal Audit agency so suffice to say that most of the issues raised by the External Auditor that is the General Auditor have been addressed as we speak and all Chairpersons of audit committees are being summoned to a meeting next week to give us an update on the extent to which they have implemented these items,” he added.