The Auditor General’s department has indicted the management of the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE) for disbursing close to GHS3 million without approval from the Ministry of Finance.
The amount, GHS 2,653,887.76 was sourced from the council’s trust fund which comprises feeding grants and others between 2016 and 2017.
These Trust Funds were instituted purposely for transferring monies to the Colleges of Education as government feeding and other grants to students.
According to the audit report, the action connotes misapplication of funds, which could result in non-distribution of the feeding and other grants to the beneficiaries.
If not refunded, NCTE would have incurred expenditure to the same tune outside its budget.
Acting Auditor General, Johnson Akuamoah in his 2019 report on public boards and other statutory institutions directed that officers who authorized and paid the amount risk being sanctioned if the money is not transferred back to the councils’ Trust Fund.
“We noted during our review of NCTE budget against its actual expenditure for the periods 2016 and 2017 that, the total amount of GHS 2,653,887.76 was disbursed from the Council’s Trust Funds without approval from Ministry of Finance”, the report cited.
It further stated that, though management intended to refund the amounts into the account when the Council receives its goods and services allocations from the government, the amounts were not refunded when allocations were received.
Point 1153 on page 303 of the 1134-paged audit report urged the management of the NCTE “to transfer the GH¢2,653,887.76 back to the Trust Fund, failing which the authorizing and paying officers shall be sanctioned in accordance with Section 98(1)(d) & (2)(b) of the PFM.”
The auditors also advised management to seek authorization from the Minister of Finance before any virement is made.
The National Council for Tertiary Education is mandated to among other things advise the education minister on the development of tertiary institutions.
In 2020, it was merged with the National Accreditation Board to become Ghana Tertiary Education Commission.