Drama unfolds at PAC sitting in Sunyani

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    Drama unfolded at the sitting of Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in Sunyani last Monday when a former Headmaster of the Nkoranman Senior High School at Seikwa in the Tain District, Mr Joseph Budu, and a retired accountant, Mr Ransford Boahen, were compelled to give evidence about some financial infractions during their tenure of office after they were spotted in the audience listening to the proceedings.

    Even though the PAC’s Chairman, Dr James Klutse Avedzi, had directed that Mr Budu and Mr Boahen as well as Ms Rebecca Owusu, who is still the secretary of the headmaster of the Nkoranman SHS, should be hauled before the committee on Friday, he seized the opportunity to interrogate Mr Budu and Boahene.

    That was after a member of the committee and a Deputy Minister of Education, Mrs Gifty Twum Ampofo, had informed the committee that she had been told that both Mr Budu and Mr Boahene were in the audience.

    The PAC began a weeklong sitting in Sunyani to deal with the report of the Auditor-General on the pre-tertiary institutions and technical universities in the Bono, Bono East, Ahafo and Ashanti regions for the financial year ending December 31, 2017, last Monday.

    Issues

    In the report, the Auditor-General reported that 335 students of the Nkoranman SHS had their names in the school’s enrolment list but were not in the students’ ledgers.

    In addition, 29 receipts for GH¢12,604.30 fees paid by 12 students, whose names were not in the students’ ledger, while the amount collected did not form part of the school’s income for the 2017 financial year.

    The report explained that those receipts, which were not recorded in the stock register and cash books, differed from the regular official receipts usually issued by the accountant and his assistants.

    Scholarships

    The report said even though Mr Budu informed auditors that the school had 186 students on scholarship for needy brilliant students, there was no evidence to show for the existence of the scheme or its approval by the Scholarship Secretariat.

    The Auditor-General’s report also added that two of the students on the supposed scholarship presented evidence of payment of fees amounting to GH¢2,804.70 and indicated that they were not aware of any such facility.

    The Auditor-General recommended that the matter be reported to the police for further investigation and the three persons be jointly held accountable for the estimated loss of the GH¢580,836.20.

    Earlier, when the current Headmaster, Mr Wadie Ampong, and accountant of the Nkoranman SHS, Mr Clement Ntim Fofie, appeared before the committee, they denied knowledge of financial infractions detected by the auditors and passed the buck to the former administrators of the school.