January 14, 2019
The 2017 Audit General’s Report on the Accounts of Sierra Leone has revealed that the Magburaka Government Hospital, Tonkolili district, could not account for Le185 million in cash and assets.
According to the report, a number of fixed assets were not coded by the hospital management and that the coding of assets was poorly done as a number of assets were marked with the same identification code.
The report which has been tabled in parliament for deliberation notes that an examination done on the hospital’s theatre books for the period under review revealed that the theatre staff including the Medical Superintendent received 70% (Le15, 382,500) of the total surgical fees, but that there was no documentary evidence of approval by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS) for the retention of such fees by the personnel in question.
The report further that, a review of other units‟ (laboratory, x-ray, wards, etc.) records for the period under review revealed that Le15, 513,600 (total fees generated by those units) was paid to staff, but that there was no evidence of approval by the MOHS for such payment.
The audit however recommended that the Medical Superintendent (MS) should provide documentary evidence in support of the aforementioned payments in question or refund the amounts of Le15, 382,500 and Le15,513,600 into the Hospital’s bank account and submit the pay-in-slips to the Audit Service for verification.
It was also claimed in the report that relevant supporting documents for the utilisation of Le 151,679,500 withdrawn from the hospital’s accounts were not submitted for audit verification.
The report further recommended that the Finance Officer should ensure that the relevant supporting documents in respect of the said amount be made available for verification.
The report disclosed that contract document in respect of diet supplied to the hospital was not submitted to the audit team for inspection as a result, the team could not ascertain whether food items worth Le 353,994,000 supplied by the contractor were as per quantities specified in the contract. Therefore, it was recommended that the MS submit the contract for verification.
The audit report notes that the hospital’s Finance Officer did not conduct bank reconciliations for the entire period under review.
Thus, the Auditor General and team recommended that the Finance Officer should ensure that a comprehensive cashbook detailing both income and expenditure for each account operated by the hospital is maintained and that monthly bank reconciliations of the cashbook and bank statement should be reviewed by a senior officer.
The report also highlights other challenges including, lack of a substantive hospital Secretary, inadequate lab equipment and reagents, blank duplicate receipt numbers, staff not available for physical verification, poor fuel management, and inadequate control over the recording and management of Drugs among others.