Corruption and Misappropriation: Government Rokel, Akibo- Betts Municipal & SM Broderick Schools to Account for Millions

The ongoing probe into the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology has exposed impropriety and mismanagement of school fees and failure to pay withholding taxes to the National Revenue Authority for the 2019 academic year.
The witness for the state and accountant at the Ministry of Education led by Khadijah Bangura for the state, squeezed the witness on the issue of the management of school fees by subvented schools and presented an exhibit which was the Auditor General’s Report on some schools including the Government Rokel Secondary, Akibo Betts Municipal Junior Secondary and S.M Broderick Junior Secondary Schools.
The report had indicated that the Government Rokel Secondary School had failed to pay withholding taxes to the National Revenue Authority to the tune of Le 1,444,950.
Akibo Betts Municipal Junior Secondary School was also indicted for failing to bank School fees to the tune of Le 3,525,000.
The report disclosed that the school had immediately put the money into use rather following the acceptable financial procedures.
It was also discovered by the auditors that payment vouchers to the tune of Le1,597 were found without supporting documents.
Teachers, the report went on, were not appraised as required by the Education Act of 2004.
At the S.M.Broderick Municipal School, the report also pointed out that there was no Board of Governors for the period under review, and that a total of Le142,878,000 was not banked and the school immediately put the money into use.
5,954 Leones was found to have been expended and official receipts to the tune of Le 5,358 were verified, remaining a balance of Le 596.
Justice Biobele asked the state counsel to make an addition of amounts misappropriated by some schools in the Audit Report as well as withholding taxes owed by the schools to the National Revenue Authority.
It was observed that a total of Le778,510,944 school fees was misappropriated in the Western Area by some of the schools mentioned in the report, and that a total of over Le 5,423,56 was owed to the NRA in the form of withholding taxes.
The state counsel produced the exhibits to prove to the witness that the Ministry of Education had reneged in its responsibility to oversee the management of school fees by subvented schools in the country.
The witness had replied that the schools have their Board of Governors and other School authorities who, he noted, have the responsibility to superintend the management of funds in the schools.
The witness as part of his testimony had explained to the Commission the processes involved in the budget process and the use of both Government and donor project funds by the Ministry of Education.
He further told the Commission that he manages three accounts in the Ministry including imprest, school materials and ENISS accounts.
These accounts, he continued, are purposefully for the daily operations of the Ministry, procurement of school and learning materials and school census respectively.
The witness also recounted that the Ministry has several other accounts which are managed by various program managers.
These accounts, he continued, are the revitalization of Education, Leh wi learn,11th EDF ,Non formal ,Basic Education and school feeding accounts respectively.
The witness is the third in line of witnesses led by the state in the ongoing probe on the Ministry of Education.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *