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General News of Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Source: Class FM

ATU Appeal Board spends GH¢93K on sitting allowance, refreshment – A-G report

The Accra Technical University spent a total of GH¢93,160.00 on sitting allowances and refreshment on an Appeal Board for a case that was eventually not settled the Audit Service in the 2019 report of the Auditor-General has disclosed.

The A-G has, thus, recommended that in future, the Council should set a limit for the number of sittings for the Appeal Board to resolve an issue in order to eliminate abuse and waste of scarce resources.

The University also made a total cash payment of GH¢2,480,325.37 for main Council and Sub-Council Meeting Allowances instead of the recommended electronic transfers or system cheques.

The report recommended to management to determine a threshold for cash payments beyond which the Acting Director of Finance should pay through cheques and electronic transfer systems.

Below are the rest of the discoveries and recommendations made by the A-G in its report:

1. Management spent only 12.9% or GHS204,455 of total Hostel fees collected amounting to GH¢1,586,423 on repairs & maintenance of the Hostel Block resulting in the Hostels being in a deplorable condition, We urged management to consider immediate renovation of the hostel to avoid further deterioration.

2. We noted that the University is underutilizing Guest house/Lodge with conference hall facility that was completed in 2019 at a cost of GH¢4,879,733.34 and a COTVET funded satellite campus at Mpehuasem, completed in 2017. We urged Management to take immediate steps to ensure full utilization to achieve the maximum benefits expected from both facilities and to avoid deterioration, failing which the council and management should be held responsible for any cost or loss attributable to non-utilization.

3. We noted that the Internal Audit Unit had never conducted an IT audit of the University. We advised Management to build the capacities of the Internal Audit to effectively conduct reviews of the University’s IT systems.

4. The University failed to obtain approval from the Auditor-General for the procurement and use of iCampus and iApply applications. We recommended that Management should write to the Auditor-General to review and approve the current applications in use without any further delay.

5. We observed that, the University has no Strategic plan for its operations. We recommended that, the Council should expedite action Report of the Auditor-General on Public Accounts of Ghana –Technical Universities and Polytechnics for 33 the Period Ended 31 December 2019 developing and approving a Strategic Plan in order to adhere to the dictates of Act 922 without further delay.

6. There was no Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery plans to rely on in case of any disaster. We recommended to management to develop Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plans to ensure timely restoration of operations in case of systems failure and/or disaster

7. We noted that the Accra Technical University does not have an IT strategic plan and approved IT security policy. We advised management to immediately develop and approve an IT Strategic Plan and IT security policy.

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