Sat | Jan 19, 2019

AGD Annual Report | Health Ministry retained $144.9M from Consolidated Fund

Published:Friday | January 11, 2019 | 10:06 AM

The Ministry of Health has been asked to remit millions it collected in fees to the Consolidated Fund.

The Auditor General's Department says an audit of the ministry's finances revealed that it retained $144.9 million in funds.

The department said the money represents sums collected from the rental of staff residences, the sale of bid documents and the collection and treatment of medical waste.

“However, the Estimates of Expenditure did not provide for any of these receipts to be treated as Appropriations-in-Aid (AIA). The accounting officer should take the necessary steps to ensure that all fees collected by the Ministry, outside of approved AIA, are paid over to the Consolidated Fund,” noted the 2018 annual report of the Auditor General's Department which was tabled in Parliament on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the annual report highlights that millions spent on computer equipment by the Ministry are unaccounted for.

The department said its audit was unable to verify the existence of 43 items costing $7,799,754 because the Ministry’s Fixed Asset Inventory was incomplete.

Additionally, the report said the responsible officer was unaware of their acquisition and consequently was not able to identify their location.

The department has advised the accounting officer to strengthen the controls over the management of fixed assets in order to safeguard these resources.

It says the Ministry has since indicated that steps have been taken to improve its fixed assets management.

- Jerome Reynolds

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