Five top officials are listed to face investigation, following General Auditing Commission (GAC’s) audit report, which claims that Gender Ministry’s activities and payroll transactions from 1 July 2014 through 31 January 2018 were not in compliance in all material respects.
Signed by Auditor General Yusador S. Gaye, a copy of which is in the possession of this paper accuses the Ministry of allegedly making salary payments totaling US$282,746.00 to 25 persons whose names were not reflected in the personnel listing from 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2016.
An LACC communication authorized by Baba M. Borkai and Charles Gibson, III, says Gender Ministry employees including Procurement Director Lanfia Waritay and Human Resource Director Benson Whea are scheduled to face LACC inquiry on Friday, 13 July, while Comptroller Emmanuel Davis is scheduled for Monday, 16 July.
It also says the Assistant Dispatcher in the office of the Deputy Minister for Administration Varney Gataweh and the Assistant Human Resource Director Barcolleh Poronpyea were scheduled to appear for inquiry at the Commission on Wednesday, 11 July.
“Hon. Minister, please be assured that the LACC has already begun preliminary investigation into the matter and will shortly [begin] inviting concerned staff of the MGCSP [Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection] who are of interest to this investigation,” the communication dated 10 June and addressed to Minister Williametta E. Saydee - Tarr says.
The report reveals that between 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017, allowance payments in the aggregate amount of US$26,899.78 for multiple employees were allegedly disbursed to a single Ecobank account owned by Mr. Thomas Gbukpa who appears not to be on the Ministry’s personnel listing.
It notes that the base salary of the Assistant Human Resource was changed from US$1,000 to US$1,500 in July 2017 and later changed to US$2,000 in August that same year.
The report further alleges that the same salary was again changed to US$3,100.00 in November 2017 without any written approval of senior management or a valid reason to support the changes.
The Audit report adds that Gender Ministry made net payments to employees in excess of their gross pay, and management allegedly allowed a frequent increase in an employee’s gross pay without adequate approval of the requisite supporting documentation.
GAC indicates in its audit report that the former Gender Minister and the Assistant Human Resource Director responded that Mr. Gbukpa was in the employ of the Ministry at the time the disbursements were made.
Further GAC says Gender Ministry indicated that the money disbursed to Mr. Gbukpa were intended for Gender Ministry’s employees in the counties for whom Mr. Gbukpa served as a liaison officer.
By Winston W. Parley-Edited by Othello B. Garblah