Prime News Ghana

Auditor-General's report on scholarships scandalous - Ex-GETFund boss

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh
Audit Service, Ghana
Audit Service, Ghana

A former Director of the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) Sam Gariba has responded to a performance audit report published by the Audit Service covering between 2012 to 2018. 

In an interview with Citi FM, Sam Gariba said the conclusion by the Auditor-General that they have breached its mandate and “illegally” funding foreign scholarships is scandalous.

Sam Gariba denied any wrongdoing in the manner in which he administered scholarships during his time in office.

A performance audit conducted by the Auditor General on the GETFund found that over 2,000 scholarships were awarded to undeserving people including politicians.

The report found that the GETFund largely circumvented processes to award the scholarships and failed to institute systems to scholarship monies were prudently used.

READ ALSO : GETFund audit report not to tarnish the image of anyone - Audit Service

Mr. Gariba who served between 2012 and 2016 said he only followed the existing procedure in awarding scholarships upon assumption of office.

“The request to make comment on the attached performance audit report by the auditor general did not come to me from the auditor general. It came to me from my successor to bring the audit to closure as standard practice. I did not invent anything; I saw and met a procedure and structure in the administration of the scholarship. So I found it satisfied, picked it up and utilized in the administration of the scholarship. Indeed, that procedure was to award a scholarship to people who were studying outside the country.”

Mr. Gariba argued that claims in the report were scandalous, ridiculous and unfounded and cannot fathom why he will be surcharged for something he did with “due diligence”.

“The Auditor-General is not the law. The Auditor-General has gone and made some scandalous claims that I administered this thing without the Board’s permission, I had two boards in my time. One was chaired by Professor Mills, he is dead. He knew about everything through the board. How can the Auditor –General reach such a scandalous conclusion, what is their stake? How do they know that we gave scholarships to the detriment of needy people? Just looking at a Member of Parliament, you just conclude that they are a millionaire and are not entitled to get funding from the GETFUND. How can you reach such a conclusion? That is the kind of ridiculous conclusion the Auditor General wants me to reach”, he added.