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General News of Monday, 21 May 2018

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Terminate crippling, duplicated procurement contracts – Audit Service to NHIA

The Audit Service says management of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) must abrogate procurement contracts it signed with three companies without following due process.

In its observation report dated May 3, 2018, the Service said after it “management [of NHIA] between July and August 2017 awarded three separate contracts worth ¢2,260,793, ¢9 million and $3,307,000 respectively to three consultancy firms with similar Terms of Reference.

According to the Service, another contract worth ¢11,100,00 with the same terms of reference had been awarded and completed by Messrs Deloitte and Touche in April 2016.

It said, “management of NHIA in their terms of references for the various contracts indicated that there was the need for such consultancy services to be performed due to the debt of about ¢2 billion inherited from the previous administration.”

But the Service disagreed saying “this decision by management seem unjustifiable and have the tendency of crippling the already precarious financial position of the NHIA.

“Also, we view this as a way of willfully dissipating the resources of the NHIA since a similar consultancy service had already been performed barely a year before these new ones were awarded.”

The Audit Service said it was unable to ascertain whether the work undertaken by Messrs Deloitte and Touche met the requirements of the Authority and the recommendations contained in the report were fully implemented.

But responding to the Audit Service observations, Deputy Director of Marketing at the NHIA, Oswald Mensah said conclusive statement cannot be made from the finding as they are only an observation.

“At this stage, it is just an observation and so management would have to address the issue and provide clarification for the Auditors to be aware of.”

“Management is taking it seriously and we are working at giving the responses to the Auditors.

Mr Mensah said the observations by the Service are still trickling in and there are some queries that have longer timelines for them to respond, which they are working on.