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Saturday, November 27, 2021

Financial Corruption Monitored in Libya’s Health Ministry

The Libyan Administrative Control Authority monitored several abuses and violations in the Ministry of Health during the administration of the Government of National Accord (GNA). These violations varied between overspending and not closing the final accounts, to disbursing funds by overspending without referring them to the financial controller.

The Authority criticized the lack of a plan from the Ministry to treat the file of oncology patients in Tunisia, whether at home or abroad. It also criticized the lack of coordination between the Ministries of Finance and Health. The report added that this resulted in large debts related to oncology departments, in addition to the lack of organization of the mechanism for transporting patients, the random issuance of treatment letters, and the lack of coordination with health attachés in embassies.

The Authority indicated the focus of the internal audit is on reviewing exchange permissions only. The Ministry was not following up on the accounts and budget units in terms of the movement of balances, the movement of transfers between accounts and the validity of tabulation for all items. There were no follow-up and review documentary credits, whether in terms of following up the documentary reinforcement for opening the credit or the availability of payment release documents.

The report recorded suspicions of corruption in some of the transactions conducted by the Undersecretary of the GNA Ministry of Health, where the latter contracted to purchase an “Antonov A16” ambulance and made a transfer of 1,250,000 euros. This money was deducted from the deposits and trusts account despite the letter of the Central Bank of Libya (CBL), through which the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health was addressed. On the 18th of May, he was informed that the rest of the value could not be transferred to the company and demanded that the necessary measures be taken to recover the value that had been transferred to the company.

The report noted the Undersecretary’s expansion in purchasing internet devices and disbursing them to employees who do not have any leadership status in the Ministry. He paid the value of housing rent for one of the Ministry’s employees for the first half of the year 2020, while the person concerned works according to a cooperative contract that expired without renewing it.

The concerned person was sent to the position of legal advisor at the health attaché in Jordan. In addition, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health referred the financial deposits abroad without demanding the settlement of the previous financial deposits. These deposits were referred during the year 2020, with the absence of a unified mechanism to deal with the financial claims referred from the contracted clinics.

The report added that there are no controls or criteria for nominating all attaches to work abroad. The recommendation and nomination are made by the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health. The Undersecretary did not consider the proportionality of the specializations of some dispatched employees with the requirements of the health attaché job and the absence of databases for them.

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