The Audit Service Sierra Leone (ASSL) 2014 Report has revealed that personal files for 310 personnel requested were not submitted for review. In addition, documentary evidence to substantiate that three staff and the Accountant were on sick leave was not submitted for audit inspection.
It was recommended that the Medical Superintendent (MS) should ensure that the personal files of the 310 staff were submitted to ASSL within 30 days of receipt of the report. Staff personal files should also be maintained for the entire hospital staff and those should be regularly updated.
The sick leave approval in respect of the three staff in question should be submitted for verification within 30 days of the receipt of the report; otherwise, the Director General, Human Resource Management Office (HRMO), would be advised accordingly for necessary action to be taken.
According to the ASSL 2014 Report, 34 personnel including State Enrolled Community Health Nurses (SECHN), Nursing Aides and other cadres did not show up for verification.
It was recommended that the MS should ensure that those staff avail themselves for physical verification within 30 days from the date of receipt of the report, otherwise, their names and pin codes should be forwarded to the HRMO for deletion from the payroll of the hospital.
Furthermore, during the course of the audit, it was observed that 91 trained and qualified SECHN personnel (representing 25% of the total trained medical personnel) have been working in the hospital, as volunteers for periods ranging six months to three years with no significant effort being made to absorb them into the Ministry’s payroll.
Of utmost concern was the fact that one of the hospital cooks, has been working as a volunteer since January, 2000 (a period of 15 years) without any effort being made to absorb her into the mainstream of the civil service.
It was recommended that the MS should ensure that the names of staff who had been working in the hospital as volunteers for significant periods were forwarded to the Ministry of Health and Sanitation so that in situations where government was to recruit additional staff they would be duly considered for absorption into the mainstream of the civil service.
It was also discovered after an examination of the staff list submitted for review that five personnel who had exceeded the statutory retirement age of 60 years were still maintained on the hospital’s payroll.
In the same vein, letters of extension of service were not submitted for the continued maintenance of the staff in question on the hospital’s payroll.
It was recommended that the MS should with immediately effect, inform the Director General, HRMO for appropriate action to be taken within 30 days of the receipt of the report; and in future, regular monthly reviews should be done to ensure that appropriate steps were taken to inform the HRMO whenever delays were experienced in the deletion of names of staff that had attained the statutory retirement age of 60 years.
A review of payment records submitted in respect of the contract for the cleaning of the Regional Hospital Bombali awarded to cleaning services provider revealed that the contract between Makeni City Council and the service provider ended on the 20th February 2014.
However, the auditors realized that payments which totaled Le320,000,000 were made to the service provider for the cleaning of the hospital for which tendering procedures were not followed.
Even though, the hospital was currently utilizing the services of the service provider for the cleaning of the hospital, it was realized that the hospital compound was bushy and medical and other wastes were disposed of in almost every corner of the hospital.
It was further observed that the cleaning of the hospital was largely done by the hospital cleaners and not the contractor.
Every effort to confirm that contractor was performing its functions proved futile; as staff working for the contractor never showed up for physical verification.
It was recommended that the MS should ensure the following: Provide adequate justification with the necessary supporting documents to substantiate reason (s) why tendering procedures were not followed in the award of the contract for the cleaning of the Makeni Government Hospital; otherwise, the matter will be referred to the National public Procurement Authority for necessary action.
In future, contract agreements are signed at all times before the commencement of the contract.
This will have the benefit of ensuring that both parties to the contract are aware of their rights, responsibilities and obligations; and if for any reason there are disputes, there will be a legal document to fall back on.
Immediate steps are taken to regularize the contract for the cleaning of the hospital with the contractor; and all contracts entered into by the hospital should be regularly monitored, supervised and certification of work done prepared and signed off by both parties to the contract before payments are made.