PAC directs CCTU Director to collect outstanding arrears

The Chairman of the Public Accounts, Mr. James Avedzi has called on the Management of the Cape Coast Technical University (CCTU) to retrieve overdue staff advances totaling GH¢71, 475.93 from officers without further delay.

The Management should also desist from granting further loans to officers with outstanding advances and immediately take steps to deduct it at source from their salaries to avoid sanctions.

This directive came up at the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) sitting in Takoradi to consider the AG’S report on the public accounts of Ghana Technical Universities and Polytechnics for the period ending December 31, 2019.

Meanwhile, Takoradi Technical University (TTU), according to the AG, had infractions on unearned salaries totaling GHc188,600.40 in contravention of Public Financial Management Regulations 2019.

Reviewing the payroll, the report discovered   that GH¢162, 230.11 was paid to Mr John Asante, Senior lecturer and Frederick Sam-Inkoom, Assistant lecturer, from January 2018 to February 2019 and December 2019 respectively, even though their appointments were terminated in January 2018 due to vacation of post.

Also, Maxwell Amoako, a senior security guard was paid GH¢26,370 as unearned salary for the period October 2016 to January 2019 following his resignation on September 30, 2016.

The auditors recommended that management pursue recovery of the amount from former officers and pay same to chest, failing which total amount should be recovered from validating officers.

Further, 56 officers occupying the University’s bungalows who were not paying the prevailing government rate at 10 percent as basic rent by conditions of service were to pay as a matter of urgency.

Rent paid by officers ranged from GH¢25 to GH¢160 leading to total rent revenue loss of GH¢171,721.30, report said, adding that, 22 out of the 56 officers defaulted their rent payment to the tune of GH¢29,716.60.

The underpayment of rent was because of management’s decision to disregard the provisions in the conditions of service and management’s failure to put in place effective mechanisms to ensure efficient collection.

On the rent, Director of Finance, TTU, Dr. Gabriel Sam Arhinful said, management had recovered some through the statutory 10 percent rent deduction from beneficiaries’ salaries.

Concerning unearned salaries, he said, letters were written to respective banks of former staff to transfer same to Controller and Accountant General’s Department account at the Bank of Ghana.

Subsequently, the termination letter of Mr John Asante was written officially to terminate his appointment and to hold salary until otherwise directed, Dr Arhinful added.

On judgement debt, the auditors said an examination of payment vouchers showed that TTU paid a debt of   GH¢36,500 to Managing Director of Glynn Plunners Management Consult, Mr Atta Mends, for failing to pay him an outstanding balance of GH¢10,274, for landscaping contract and gardening works at the Applied Arts Block executed in October 2011.

The report explained that the total contract sum was GH¢18,919 out of which GH¢8,645 was paid, adding that, the TTU could have averted   a lawsuit if all parties found amicable solution to impasse once the university agreed that Atta Mend’s company did the work.

“We recommended that the former Vice Chancellor and former Director of Finance and Development Officer refund the excess payment of GH¢26,226.” The AG stated.

However, Dr Arhinful responded that there was no basis for payment since the University did not have a contract with Glynn Plunners Management Consult, and that, there was, therefore, the need to have a valid basis to support any payment to determine the validity and justification of payment, hence the legal option.

Reacting to the issues, Chairman of PAC commented that it was the Estate officer who made the mistake and must bear the consequences.

On the rent defaults, he directed TTU to get back with the auditors to recover the difference and that of Amoako the security officer.

“Management should pay back money, failure for which they would be held liable to refund the amount,” he directed.

Source: GNA

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