Africa Education Watch (Eduwatch) today launched its Education Accountability Report, dubbed “Where is Our Money?’
The document is a compilation of key accountability issues in the Auditor-General’s Report on Pre-Tertiary Institutions for the year-end 31 December 2019”, with participants from Civil Society Organisations (CS0s), Academia, the Media, and the general public.
The Report, developed as an abridged version of the 273-paged 2019 Auditor General’s Report on Pre-Tertiary Institutions, revealed GHC 23 million unaccounted funds by SOS, Colleges of Education in 2019 alone, through Procurement, Cash Management, Contracts, Payroll, and Tax irregular.
It recommends innovative Civil Society action to advocate the retrieval of unaccounted funds, punish school heads and strengthen accountability and compliance with the Public Financial Management Law and Regulations.
It further urges the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education and the media to take a keen interest in efforts to retrieve every amount that is unaccounted for by the schools, by using the 20-paged Report as a very simplified reference guide to track implementation progress and report to the public.
Presenting a summary of the report, Executive Director for Eduwatch, Kofi Asare called on the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Ghana Education Service (GES) to ensure that Audit Report Implementation Committees and Governing Boards of Senior High Schools and Colleges of Education take immediate action to retrieve cash, strengthen compliance and exact sanctions as recommended by the Auditor General’s Report.
In his keynote address, Prof. Kwasi Prempeh, Executive Director of the Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), decried the trend of corruption in the management of pre-tertiary educational institutions as portrayed in successive Auditor General’s report. In the past three years alone, over GHC 50 million was unaccounted for under similar circumstances.
He called for swift prosecutions by the state, sanctioning of school heads by the GES and school boards, and civil society-media follow-ups on recommendations to ensure every cedi is accounted for while recommending Public Financial Management Systems enforced to end the Vend.
The Deputy Auditor-General, Mr. Lawrence Ayagiba called for more collaboration and support from all institutions in the education sector to ensure its recommendations are implemented to protect the public purse. He urged the Management and Boards of pre-university educational institutions to ensure strict adherence to the Public Financial Management Law and Regulations.