Govt flouts regulations to finance Linden Hospital

first_imgThe Audit Office has recommended that the Finance Ministry take a definite decision and action toward regularising the status of the Linden Hospital Complex (LHC) since it is operating as an autonomous body, while still receiving funding from the Public Health Ministry as though it is a “department.”The Linden Hospital ComplexDuring 2015, the Public Health Ministry transferred to the LHC amounts totalling $261.129 million from its current provisions. The sum was to have met the operational costs of the hospital. However, the operation of the current appropriation to fund the hospital was questioned since funding for that entity was included under a programme in the budget of the ministry, as though it was a department, while funding was disbursed as if it was a subvention agency under the ministry, the Auditor General’s Report disclosed.It stated that the Linden Hospital Complex was approved by Cabinet decision dated November 24, 2015 to function as a board during the period of December 1, 2015 to November 30, 2016. It was highlighted that the Complex was not an autonomous or semi-autonomous body regulated under an Act of Parliament and that it was managed by a Board of Directors and was not required to provide the ministry with financial or other reports that would indicate that some form of ministerial supervision was exercised over its processes.Nevertheless, the report indicated that it was explained by the Head of the Budget Agency, that the hospital provides receipts and statements to cover all expenditures incurred to the ministry.Therefore, the Report suggested that the ministry take affirmative action to discuss this matter with the subject minister and, if necessary, the Office of the Budget of the Ministry of Finance, with a view to having definite decisions and actions toward regularising the status of LHC.Additionally, during 2015, audit checks the hospital revealed a number of other discrepancies; examination of the payroll and other related documents revealed that pay change directives for the termination of employment in respect of one employee was forwarded late to the Central Accounting Unit of the hospital, as a result, the employee was overpaid; the Stores Regulation require that a master inventory be maintained, however, the hospital has not adhere with this requirement, since this record was not maintained for the period under review; and log books presented for audits were not properly maintained to reflect the signature of the authorising officer for the journeys undertaken. As a result it could not be ascertained whether proper control was exercised over the use of the complex’s fleet of vehicles.The Report noted that the ministry acknowledged that overpayment of salaries is an issue but stated that they are trying to retrieve money.The Audit Office recommended that action be taken to recover the overpaid money, put systems in place to ensure that all records are maintained, as required by Store Regulation 1993, and present all outstanding documents for audit examination.last_img read more