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Press Releases of Saturday, 29 February 2020

Source: The Herald

The Herald: Forensic scrutiny of GETFund payments needed

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Since the Auditor General’s report on the GETfund secretariat story started doing the rounds, as usual with everything that happens in this country, the report is already enmeshed in politics of equalization.

The audit report which has since been sent to Parliament contains the names of 86 beneficiaries some of whom are politicians, parliamentarians, public servants, media practitioners, lecturers, heads of public institutions and many others.

When the story hit the country’s media space, many of the beneficiaries, captured in the report, have come out to deny ever receiving the scholarship money.

The act establishing the GETFund is clear on how the scholarships should be administered.

According to Section 2(2b) of the GETFund Act, 2000 (Act 581)the secretariat is “to provide supplementary funding to the Scholarship Secretariat for the grant of scholarships of gifted but needy students for studies in the second cycle and accredited tertiary institutions in Ghana”

The first to come out publicly to denounce ever receiving any sponsorship was Hajia Ramana Shareef, a journalist and Communication strategist, her denial was followed by a strongly worded letter from a deputy minister of Agric and Member of Parliament for Akim Swedru, Kennedy Osei Nyarko, to the Auditor-General for his name was to be retracted from the list of beneficiaries of the GETFund scholarship.

However, The Auditor-General, Daniel Domelevo, has asked the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, to head to GETFund with any concerns he has regarding the audit report.

According to the Auditor-General, his outfit is not responsible for the list of beneficiaries of the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) captured in its performance audit report.

Mr Domelevo, instead urged Mr Nyarko to take up any grievances he has with GETFund.

It is, therefore, our considered opinion that those who decided to flout the act, as well as the beneficiaries, who do not qualify, must be surcharged.

It smacks of abuse of privilege and greed for persons like the minister of Education, Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh, and deputy majority leader, Sarah Adwoa Safo, knowing the act because they passed it, to have applied to be given scholarship.

This newspaper is of the opinion that forensic audit has become very necessary, if not urgent, as Ghanaians worry over the misapplication of the GETFund.

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