By Maxwell Nkansah
The Auditor-General has revealed in its 2021 report that its vouching of payments disclosed that PSC Tema Shipyard “paid a total amount of GH263, 455.35 to the Maritime Labour Organisation as service fees without evidence of work done such as reports from supervisors or heads of units indicating work performed” as well as the “name of vessels worked on” and the “offices and places” where the company allegedly provided “cleaning services and others” to substantiate the payment.
This contravenes Regulation 78(1)(a)(b) of the Public Financial Management Regulations, 2019 (L.I.2378), which stipulates that the principal spending officer of a covered entity is personally responsible for ensuring, in respect of each payment of that covered entity, the validity, accuracy, legality of the claim for payment, evidence of services received, certificates for work done, and any other supporting documents exist.
“We blamed the anomaly on supervisors’ or heads of unit’s failure to report the non-performance of work by service providers,” the A-G’s report said.
It noted: “This could result in the diversion of the company funds for personal gains.”
According to the audit team, the Chief Executive Officer and Finance Manager should “produce evidence of work done, such as reports from supervisors or heads of units indicating work performed, names of vessels Maritime Labour Organisation worked on, offices and places Maritime Labour Organisation provided cleaning services, and others,” to substantiate the payment, failing which the total amount of GH263, 455.35 should be recovered from the Chief Executive Officer and Finance Manager.
The management of PSC Tema Shipyard, in its response to the Auditor-General, indicated that it had put in place a “three-way matching concept” involving invoices, LPOs, and certificates of work done “before processing payments for service providers.”