Misuse of tuition grants

TUITION free grants to school are being misused by some school managements, the Public Accounts Committee noted last week.

And it noted that a significant portion of the grant was being diverted to the parent body of some schools.

Officials from the Auditor-General’s office stated some schools were administered by a parent body.

The officials said the grants directed to schools were collected by the parent body and its respective administrative units administered those grant.

The committee was also informed of an instance where a school’s parent body also managed a university, and grants awarded to the school was then subsequently loaned to the university.

The officials said the Auditor-General’s office had still yet to reconcile the interests from the loan.

The committee was also told that the Auditor-General’s office was still unclear on whether the interest was being absorbed by the parent body, given back to the school as part of the grant, or given back to Government.

Committee chairman Professor Biman Prasad then asked for what purpose were the grants being diverted.The officials said if the grant was given for building maintenance, for example, it was then used for other means such as purchasing stationery and using of administrative expenses.

“We have also noted instances where the management is giving loans to other institutions under their umbrella,” the officials said.

Mr Prasad then asked if that was illegal and fraudulent for management to give loans out of the grant.

The officials agreed and said lending was not part of the standing rules and regulations for the administrative of grants.

“Any affairs or expenditure which is done outside the standing rules and regulations is viewed as unwarranted diversion of funds.”

The Auditor-General’s office is currently carrying out a nationwide audit of tuition free grants.

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