The Auditor-General and some public universities are chasing some staff who failed to return to post after they have been trained with GH¢3 million of public funds.
The Auditor-General has directed the University of Cape Coast (UCC), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) and others to recover almost ¢3 million spent to train some staff but failed to return to post after further studies.
The Vice Chancellors of the universities are to pay the money if the identified beneficiaries fail to do so.
At the UCC, the audited report covering 2018 and 2019, found that the school condition’s of service for senior members of public universities provides that study leave with pay may be granted at the discretion of the vice chancellor after an applicant has served three years.
The provision again requires that after the successful completion of the course the officers granted study leave with pay shall return to serve the university for a period of two times the number of years or pay in lieu of service the total expenditure including salaries, and allowances plus interest at the bank rate during the period of study leave.
On the contrary, according to the Auditor-General, UCC granted study leave with pay amounting to ¢1,868,683.72 to eight staff members but the officers did not return to serve the University.
The report blames the anomaly on the Vice-Chancellor and the Training and Development Committee’s indifferent posture towards the implementation of the policy document.
The report recommends that Management should pursue the affected officers and their guarantors to refund the total amount or the vice chancellor be made to pay the money.
The audit also disclosed that the University granted sabbatical leave to three officers to undertake their leave at various sister universities and other government departments of which the officers within the leave period drew a salary of ¢128,826.29 from UCC and took same from the sister universities and government departments.
At GIMPA, it was noted that Mr Dominic Npoanlari Dagbanja, a member of staff was sponsored by the Institute to study Law in Australia. He was to have completed his course of study in 2016.
However, he has still not reported to the Institute at the time of the audit as of August 2018. A total amount of ¢327,800.24 has been incurred on him by the Institute.
A request for a list of members of staff who have not returned to post after completion of their respective courses of study was not provided to us.
The Institute did not receive any value for the sponsorship expenses incurred on Mr. Dominic Npoanlari Dagbanja to undertake a course in Law in Australia.
The GH¢327,800.24 spent on Mr. Dominic Npoanlari Dagbanja should be recovered from him or his guarantors in the event that the Institute cannot recover it from him; also members of staff who have completed their courses of study must report to the Institute to serve their bond period or pay the amount expended on.
The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology is also said to have spent almost ¢1 million on further training of some of the senior staff who either failed to return to the country or abandon post on their return.