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General News Mon, 21 May 2018

Audit Service uncovers massive rot at NHIA

The struggling National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) has been indicted for wanton financial waste and abuse of procurement processes.

Audit work done by the Ghana Audit Service shows that the Authority may be losing close to 23 million Ghana cedis, plus over 3 million dollars, through duplication of contract activity and unsubstantiated payments.

The Authority has also been found to have abused the Single Source Procurement method as stipulated by law.

In four separate audit observation memos dated May 3, 2018 and signed by the leader of the audit service team at the NHIA, the audit service chastised management of the Authority for consistently failing to submit copies of their internal audit reports to the Auditor General as dictated by the internal audit agency act.

It recommends immediate action on an obligation, which it says management has failed, over the years to do.

The auditors also found that management authorized the payment of GHC 400,000 to twenty members of the Health Committee of Parliament to publicize some information and educate their constituents on the health insurance scheme during the yuletide.

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However, the audit found no acknowledgement of the receipt of funds, no activity budget detailing the exact work to be undertaken and no activity report after the special exercise to support the payment.

The audit concludes that the payment lacks accountability and transparency, with questions about why it was limited to only members of the select committee.

It blamed management for failing to scrutinize the request before effecting payment and recommended that the authorizing and approving officers be surcharged if the transaction is not properly or duly acquitted.

The audit team’s review of the NHIA’s procurement document also shows that the Authority obtained approval from the public procurement authority for single-sourced procurement for two different consultancy services, totaling over 11 million Ghana cedis and one other for over $3 million.

The contract which ran from 13th July 2017 to January 2018 involved Albert Ocansey and company for forensic audit at over 2 million Ghana cedis and AKK management consulting limited for claims and clinical audit at 9 million Ghana cedis.

Source: citinewsroom.com
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