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132 cartoons of therapeutic items missing at Ola During

-Audit report reveals

January 14, 2020

By Jariatu S. Bangura

The 2018 Auditor General’s report has reveals the missing of 132 cartons of ready-to-use therapeutic food supplies donated by the Aberdeen Women Centre (AWC) on 8th August, 2018 to the therapeutic feeding centre at Ola During Children Hospital.

The report further states that there was also no evidence to show how the supplies were distributed to beneficiaries.

“We recommended that the Nutritionist should provide explanation and documentary evidence on behalf of the hospital to support how the supplies donated were utilised, failing which the said items should be refunded to the hospital immediately.”

The Nutritionist-in-charge responded in the report that the food items donated by Aberdeen Women Centre meant for the outpatient therapeutic programme were indeed delivered but the Nutritionist was on leave.

He said the food items were taken to the unit by the storekeeper, since it has an expiration date of February, 2019, they decided to extend the food to the patient at both the IPF and OTP admission card and the IPF multi chart.

Meanwhile, the auditors noted that they cannot ascertain as to how the supply donated by the Aberdeen Women Centre were utilized.

“It was observed that they were only used for distribution of supplies to individual patients; they cannot track the specific stock and dates of utilization. Some of the stock cards submitted were half completed and makes the tracking of supplies very difficult; making it a recipe for misuse. Therefore, this issue remains unresolved,” the report notes

The report also reveals that the hospital management failed to submit cashbook and bank reconciliation statements for 2016 and 2017 for audit inspection contrary to the provision in Section 36(1a) of the Audit Service Act of 2014.

“We recommended that the Finance Officer should ensure that these documents are made available to the audit team immediately; otherwise, the issues will be forwarded to the appropriate authorities for necessary action,” auditors stated.

The Medical Superintendent (MS) noted that he has contacted the former Finance Officer on the matter but she was yet to respond.

The auditors however commented that bank statements were submitted, but cashbook and bank reconciliation statements were not provided for reviews.

“During our review of the bank statements submitted, we observed that supporting documents for bank withdrawals which totaling Le2, 438,223,850.00 were not submitted for inspection. Therefore, the issue is partly resolved,” the report states.

It was observed by auditors that withholding taxes of Le121, 840, 096.00 were deducted from payments for goods and services, but were not paid to the National Revenue Authority as specified by Section 117(4) of the Income Tax Act of 2000.

Auditors recommended that the Finance Officer should ensure that the amount deducted as withholding tax is paid to the NRA with immediate effect and evidence of payment submitted for audit inspection and that in future the finance officer should ensure withholding taxes are deducted from payments and paid over to the NRA.

However, the Medical Superintendent responded that withholding tax is not charged on the face value of imprest, therefore the hospital cannot account for the amount stated. He added that withholding taxes which total Le41,100,470 were deducted from the payment of suppliers and paid to the NRA, and evidence of payment is available for their inspection’.

The auditors stated that from a total of Le121,840,096.00, withholding taxes deducted from various suppliers, an amount of Le95,624,831.00 were submitted for inspection leaving a remainder of Le21,925,265.00 to be submitted, thus the  issue is partly resolved.

The report further revealed that internal control systems for the receipt and issuance of store items were very weak.

“We observed that one Hawanatu Sento Kargbo received 90 cartons of F100 therapeutic milk on 29th August, 2017 and Abie Nyanda received 100 cartons of Resomal on 20th September, 2017 respectively on behalf of the Hospital. However, the names of these two people were not on the HR staff list for 2017. The officer-in-charge may send any person to represent her to collect supplies from the DHMT. For instance, on three occasions, Sheku A. Kanu, a volunteer, collected supplies on her behalf,”the reporte states.

The report notes that there was no evidence that supplies brought to the Hospital were taken on ledger charge or were taken to the store in the presence of three senior officers.