The Public Accounts Committee has expressed anger at management of the Ghana Health Service following an audit report revealing damning financial scandals.
Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament Kwaku Agyemang Manu lamented how professionals within the Service failed to apply basic financial and administrative checks that could have saved the tax payer's monies.
The Auditor General’s 2011 report has revealed the managers of the Service breached provisions of the Procurement Act in buying 332 pick-up vehicles valued at GHâ‚µ10.4 million.
The Health Service handpicked its preferred supplier, Auto-World Ltd without obtaining approval from the Public Procurement Authority.
More than GHâ‚µ1million worth of condoms were also bought through sole sourcing without approval.
An auctioneer also sold some vehicles belonging to the Ghana Health Service totaling 44,000 but paid only GHâ‚µ7,000 to the owners of the vehicle and bolted with the rest.
Director General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Ebenezer Appiah Denkyira could not offer tangible explanation when the issue came up.
At the PAC hearing Friday, the committee was scandalized by the revelations and the failure of the managers to account for their actions.
“The problem we have is not system inefficiency; the problem is deliberate acts of laziness, negligence of professional duties and some other issue [of] criminality behind it”
MP for Shai Osudoku, David Tetteh Assuming did not mince words in condemning the managers of the service.
“This action and inaction, if it had been on the part of the politicians the whole world will break loose. Technocrats are doing this kind of thing?” he expressed shock.
The Committee was angered by the pleadings for the managers and officials and criticized the Health Minister Mr Alex Segbefia for failing to “crack the whip” on his lieutenants.
Meanwhile Transport Manager of the Ghana Health Service has rejected media reports that he run away from a Public Accounts Hearing in Parliament investigating financial malfeasance within the service.
He said there was no basis to abscond from the hearing because he had done no wrong. Parliament, he said, needed his assistance in apprehending an auctioneer who bolted with the Service’s money.
Mr. Ebo Hammond kept the Public Accounts Hearing waiting for minutes and re-appeared with a stomach-relieving drug in his hand.
He told the committee he was not well after suffering from a tummy upset the night before.
“I took food on the away when I came in the night I had a stomach upset. My Director-General was aware of that but he said that I should try and come”
He told Joy News’ Parliamentary correspondent Elton John Brobbey, he travelled from Central regional capital, Cape Coast to Accra for the Thursday hearing.
But as his condition became unbearable, he rushed to buy drugs. Mr. Hammond explained he was directed to take food before taking the drug.
The Transport Manager said, he bought coconut, took the medicine and rushed back to parliament to help the committee.
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