The Auditor-General has directed the former Rector of the University for Professional Studies (UPSA), Professor Joshua Alabi to refund with interest an amount of almost ¢300,000 paid as legal fees to private legal firm Lithur Brew and Company for no work done.
This is contained in the audited report of Public Boards, corporations and other statutory institutions.
According to the report, an amount of ¢2,302,369.67 released to some officers of UPSA to transact official business on behalf of the University, only ¢353,279.43 was accounted for with the necessary supporting documents leaving a difference of ¢1,949,090.24 to be accounted for, though the activities for which the funds were released had been conducted long ago.
The Auditor General recommends that; the amount be recovered as soon as possible.
The report also points out that in the review, the Management of UPSA, signed a retainer agreement dated March 16, 2014, and paid an amount of ¢263,670 to law firm Lithur Brew and Company as a retainer fee but there is no evidence of the provision of any legal services to the University.
The report also noted that Lithur Brew and Company was appointed through sole-sourcing without recourse to the provisions of the Public Procurement (Amendment) Act, 2016 (Act 914).
The Auditor general advised that the former Vice-Chancellor; Prof. Joshua Alabi and Lithur Brew and company be made to refund the amount with an interest at the prevailing Bank of Ghana interest rate.
The report further advised that Management sets up a legal directorate that shall facilitate all legal matters for the University through the Attorney General’s department.
Two officers of the University of Cape coast Kwame Fenyi a Senior Administrative Assistant of the University’s Accra Office and Francis Arthur of UCC Enterprises did not account for the total revenue of ¢55,557.60 collected between June 2017 and April 2018.
Also contrary to provisions in the Financial Administration Regulations, the report noted that the College of Distance Education paid a total amount of ¢1,370,000 to two contractors for the supply of materials in transit but the items were never supplied.
The items were paid through various certificates issued without indications to the items, quantity, unit cost and others.
The audit team did not sight any documentary or physical evidence that such materials had been supplied to the projects even though payments were made to the contractors during 2012 and 2014 financial years.
The Auditor-General recommends that Management provide a list of items, quantity, unit cost and evidence of supply to the projects to justify the payments, failing which the contractors and the officers who authorised the payments should refund the total amount of ¢1,370,000 at the prevailing Bank of Ghana interest rate to the University.