Liberia – Audit Report: Over US$10M Unaccounted for at Health Ministry from 2014-2017

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Ex-Health Minister Dr. Walter Gwenigale

MONROVIA – The General Auditing Commission (GAC) reports that the Ministry of Health cannot account for   millions of United States dollars of funding provided by the Government of Liberia and others for health care services for the Fiscal years ended June 30, 2014 to June 30, 2017.  

The findings are contained in a audit report submitted to the National Legislature  recently in Monrovia. Dr. Walter T. Gwenigale served as Minister of Health for the fiscal year 2013/2014  and Dr. Bernice Dahn served as Minister of Health for fiscal years 2014/2015 to  2016/2017.

According to the report, the MOH  Management was not able to provide  supporting documents for expenses amounting to US$10,313,896 . As a result, the GAC was unable to establish the validity, occurrence and accuracy of these expenses.  The GAC has therefore recommended that that the Ministry of Health Management account for the amount. 

The   report noted  differences amounting to US$322,015 between liquidated amounts posted in the Ministry of Health accounting system and the liquidation reports submitted by the County Health Teams. As a result, the GAC was unable to establish the validity, occurrence and accuracy of the transaction.

Ex-Health Minister, Dr. Bernice Dahn

 The Ministry of Health  Management made  third party  payments without evidence of supporting documents amounting to US$213,180. therefore,  the GAC has recommended that the MoH Management should account  for the amount. 

 Further, the GAC observed a difference of US$1,106,118  between advance figures reported in the financial statements and the schedule provided by management. 

Daily Sustenance Allowance (DSA)  payments amounting to US$117,100  to some staff of the Ministry  were not adequately supported. The schedule of beneficiaries for the payment of DSA was not signed by the participants to acknowledge receipt of payment. Also, undisbursed fund after the payment of DSA to staff amounting to US$ 9,650were not accounted for/refunded to Ministry. The validity, occurrence and accuracy of the payment therefore cannot be established.

The MOH  Management was not able to provide the GAC with the details of liability balance of US$22,637,257 disclosed in the note to the financial statements  As a result, the GAC was unable to establish the validity, occurrence and accuracy of the liability balance.

The report noted differences between book balances per bank reconciliation statements and amount per general ledger.  Management was not able to explain the differences identified between book balance per bank reconciliation and amount per general ledger. The GAC was  therefore unable to confirm the accuracy of the cash and bank balances on the financial statements. 

Given the significance of the findings,  the GAC opined that financial statements of the Ministry of Health  do not give a true and fair view of the financial position of the Ministry for the fiscal years under audit.  

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