13th May 2013
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament has summoned the managements of Kingharman Road Government Hospital and Psychiatric Home Hospital to answer to questions relating to the findings of the 2011 Auditor General’s report.
During the public hearing, the Finance Office of the Kingharman Road Government Hospital came under scrutiny for its failure to produce evidence of their expenditures in 2010 to the Auditor-General’s office.
The Deputy Auditor-General, Specialised Audits, Mr. Tamba Momoh, stated during the hearing that when the Audit team went to audit the King Harman Road Hospital, the Finance Officer could not provide receipts and records of the 2010 expenditures. He stated that there was a weak financial management system at the hospital adding that there were no receipt books, no reconciliation, no proper records and no standard payment voucher system. Mr. Momoh further said that drugs used in the hospital were not properly accounted for, and the paediatric ward was very congested when the auditors visited there.
The Deputy Chairman of PAC, Hon. Eric Komba Koedoyoma raised an issue relating to the payment of a Le 20,000,000 (twenty million Leones) loan agreement the hospital management had entered into, as stated in the report. The Finance Officer, Mr. Ndolleh then mentioned that the sum of Le 18,000,000 (eighteen million Leones) had already been paid, but he failed to produce evidence of payment made. The PAC then asked the Finance Officer to produce to Audit Service all the relevant documents relating to the Report.
The Acting Medical Superintendent of the Hospital, Dr. Amadu Sesay and the outgoing Superintendent Dr. Alex Kanu, together with the Hospital Secretary, Mr Foday Musa were advised to maintain sanity in the management system while the committee awaits the forwarding of all finance- related documents.
In another development, it was discovered that Sierra Leone Psychiatric Home, popularly known as Kissy Mental Home could not account for an enormous sum of one hundred and thirty million Leones (Le 130,000,000) allegedly used to purchase fuel.
Commenting on the Report, Mr. Momoh said that the disbursement of monies at the Kissy Mental Home, especially the Le 130,000,000 used in the purchase of fuel, was not recorded for and there was no document to the effect regarding how that money was expended. He pointed out that when they visited the Kissy Mental Home to audit the 2010 Financial Expenditure, it was discovered that the institution had no proper financial records regarding the expenses undertaken during the year under review, and could not account for how, when and where the Le130m was used.
The Finance Officer of the Psychiatric Home, Mr. Harding told the committee that the fuel was used to run seven vehicles officially attached to the Hospital and a 110 KVA Generator and two others which were used to supply electricity to the hospital on a daily basis.When he was questioned by the Deputy Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Koedoyoma on whether he had documents to substantiate his claim, the Finance Officer said that prior to the time he took up the job from his predecessor, Madam Zainab Kamara, there was no record to the effect on how those monies were expended.
However, it was recommended that reliable records and receipts of the 2010 expenditure be made available to the committee in due time, otherwise, actions would be taken against them.