The Public Accounts Committee of Parliament (PAC) has issued an arrest warrant for three persons who guaranteed for workers of three health facilities for further studies.
The guarantors, name withheld, are to suffer the penalties for the sponsored workers who have breached their bond conditions.
According to the Auditor-General’s report on the Public Accounts of Ministries, Departments and Agencies for the year ending December 31, 2020, the two facilities, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital and the Accra Psychiatric Hospital spent GH¢147,973 to sponsor the two nurses for further studies.
A third sponsored nurse to the tune of GH¢47,293 from the Nkawie-Toase Hospital, the Director General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, said is in court challenging the amount as an unearned salary.
Mr Kuma-Aboagye revealed that their checks indicated that Agyei Roland of the Nkawie-Toase facility who took study leave with pay did not actually report to school but continued to collect pay throughout the supposed period of study abroad.
This came to light yesterday when the Ghana Health Service appeared before the PAC to answer audit questions as contained in the audit report under consideration before the Committee.
Infuriated by what he said was becoming a culture for sponsored staff to breach their terms after further studies, chairman of the committee and MP for Ketu North, James Kkutse Avedzi, said the guarantors must answer for the failure of the defaulting nurses to serve their bonding conditions.
“I am by this directing the police to ensure that they pick the guarantors and that will compel them to pay the money spent on them by the state.
“The same directive applies (to Benjamin Nyarko Anoff of the Accra Psychiatric Hospital). The guarantor should be picked and that would force him to ensure that the bond balance of 22 months is refunded,” Mr Avedzi directed.
In his view, guarantees by humans were not enough and that going forward, institutions must explore the bank guarantee system.
“Guarantors as human beings signing is not enough. Next time, look for bank guarantee. Before you spend state funds on somebody, they should go to the bank and get a guarantee that if they don’t return, you fall on the bank to take the money from them,” he proposed.
Per condition 21 of the Ghana Health Services Bond Form “An awardee who defaults in serving the required bond period shall pay the full bond sum”.
It continued in 22 that “the value of the bond shall be equivalent to the total salary paid to the awardee whilst in training plus interest at the prevailing lending rate of the Bank of Ghana”.
BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI