The Former Chief Executive of the Youth Employment Agency(YEA) has responded to an internal audit report that suggested that Ghana lost some GHS 50 million under his watch.
The former CEO, Kobina Ebo Beechem has insisted that the anomaly occurred after he’d left office as Chief Executive.
“The YEA Beneficiary management software after satisfying prescribed criteria, electronically signed all beneficiary appointment letters. My signature was embedded in the database and as and when the appointment letter was generated by the database, my signature was placed electronically on the appointment letter. According to the press statement/conference, these anomalies were detected in March and April of 2017. I handed over the management of the agency to the current CEO on Friday the 24th of February 2017, and so these anomalies occurred after my handing over. These are obviously fraudulent, and I would encourage the management to involve the appropriate authorities and apprehend those who forged our signatures. I commend the management for undertaking such an exercise. However in the interest of fairness and transparency, a detailed signed report from those management conducting the exercise would be very helpful and enable us to comment on the basis of empirical data. I would urge the publication of this report by management.”
The Internal Audit report uncovered a huge payroll fraud which has cost the country about GH¢50 million.
The amount, according to the findings of the report, is an aggregation of unearned allowances paid to unposted beneficiaries, funds for official use which were paid into personal accounts, as well as procurement without adherence to due process, the Acting Chief Executive, Justine Kodua Frimpong disclosed at a Press Conference held in the capital, Wednesday.
But in his written response to the allegations of rot, Ebo Beechem rather accused the current management of unjustly sacking officials who worked under him and demanded for fairness and transparency in the said report.
He contended that the said Findings was presented with ambiguity, hence it would have helped if granular data related to the above observation was made available to the public.
Also excerpts of his statement also said: “I’ll plead with the new management to take a second look at the following actions against members of my management team and staff.”
*16 Public Servants serving with the YEA have been summarily forced to proceed on leave. Once they proceeded on leave, their positions were replaced by new members of staff drafted in on contract. This is in direct contravention of Article 191(b) of the Constitution which states “A member of the Public Service shall NOT be dismissed or removed from office or reduced in rank or otherwise punished without just cause.” Compelling them to proceed on leave with a letter and replacing them with new people in my interpretation is tantamount to removing these officials without just cause, and new management is encouraged to reinstate them.
*Also refusal to pay Responsibility allowances since January 2017, for Directors who have been asked to proceed on leave.
*Employing Staff in direct contravention of the approved scheme of service from the Public Service Commission
*Circumventing laid down procedures for employing people into Ghana’s public service.
Earlier this year, management of the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) suspended payment of allowances to over 60,000 beneficiaries due to some discrepancies and fraudulent activities in their payroll.
The YEA had explained that the action was necessary because of discrepancies detected in the payroll of beneficiaries.
The statement to that effect also noted that over 20,000 beneficiaries of the scheme were drawing salaries on monthly basis but have not been at post for several months.