CNC regional director cited for illegal recruitment, collection of GH¢364,000 from new staff

CNC Wa The acting regional director is currently under administrative invesgitation

Fri, 2 Sep 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

A report by the fourthestateghana.com has cited the acting Upper East Regional Director of the Center for National Culture (CNC), Elizabeth Talata Adongo, for illegally recruiting some 38 persons into the department of the National Commission on Culture (NCC).

According to the report sighted by GhanaWeb, Madam Talata Adongo in 2021 handed appointment letters to the 38 persons who commenced work in the department’s offices across the region in November 2021 and January 2022.

Their appointment, however, was allegedly backdated on their appointment records to April 1, 2021.

The new employees subsequently received salaries covering the period in accumulated packages.

However, when the employees received the payments, the acting regional director, through the senior regional accountant of the Commission, took back the money but failed to return it to the Controller and Accountant-General’s Department.

An audit by the Ghana Audit Service confirmed that the acting director employed the new staff without financial clearance.

While the audit failed to establish how Miss Adongo got the CAGD to pay the salaries of the new staff, it established that the monies paid to the staff as a result of the backdating of their appointments totalled GH¢364,914.23.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that the acting director took GH¢1,000 each from the 36 new staff before their employment.

However, following the discovery by the external auditors, Miss Adongo called the new staff into a meeting where she informed them that the Commission would no longer need their services.

“When she realised that the matter was getting worse, she told us to pay GH¢2,000.00 each so that she would use it to bribe the auditors. I told her personally that I didn’t have that money. She insulted me that I was an ungrateful person. I told her I was not an ungrateful person,” recounted Cynthia Salifu, who became an estate officer in Bolgatanga through the ill-fated recruitment.

“The new employees paid the accumulated salaries back to the director on the accountant’s table. But I paid mine back through the accountant’s personal Absa Bank account on December 13, 2021. I paid GH¢¢9,524,” the Fourth Estate report quoted Cynthia Salifu, who was employed as an estate officer of the Commission at Bolgatanga.

However, it has also emerged that the Executive Director of the Commission, Janet Edna Nyame, in a letter dated July 28, 2022, asked Elizabeth Talata Adongo to “delete with immediate effect names found to have been placed on the payroll without financial clearance”.

The letter, which formed the basis for the acting director telling the new staff that the Commission no longer needed their services, also suspended Elizabeth Talata and a senior accountant at the CNC’s regional office in Bolgatanga, Komla Emmanuel Feli, from carrying out any official duties.

The letter ordered that the two hand over their offices to designated officers at the regional office.

The executive director communicated the commencement of an investigation into the two officials “regarding administrative breaches, receipt of unearned allowances and alleged unapproved recruitment of employees as partly reported by external auditors of the Upper East Office of the Ghana Audit Service”.

“While you are suspended, you must not carry out any of your work duties in any shape or form. You must not visit the office (Centre) or its district offices without authorisation from the Commission.

“If the investigation team (CIT) finds the grounds for disciplinary action, the Commission shall invite you to a meeting to provide your response before the final decision is taken as stipulated by the Labour Act and the Collective Agreement of the Centre for National Culture,” the suspension letters, dated 3rd August 2022, read in part.

Adding to the various infractions the two have been cited for, the 2021 Auditor General’s report revealed various administrative infractions involving Madam Adongo and Komla Emmanuel Feli.

The report, among other things, revealed that the office had undertaken some unexplained payments amounting to GH¢6,322.00 and for which the two suspended officials failed to defend.

The auditor general also reported that Komla Emmanuel Feli received some GH¢¢2,866.00 as revenues realised from the sale of some cloths but failed to account for same.

Madam Adongo, in the report, was found to have enjoyed two undeserved allowances between January 2021 and June 2022. The allowances added up to GH¢¢17, 888.00 over that period. The two allowances were cited in the report as “Domestic Servant Steward Allowance” and “Domestic Servant Night Watchman Allowance”.

As part of its recommendations, the auditor general asked that the two officials be made to pay back all their unearned monies paid to them.

The recorded amount is said to be in the region of some GH¢¢500,000.00 which the auditor general said should be surcharged to the two officials if they fail to refund.

Read the full report below:

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Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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