GPHC’s CEO to be sent on leave to facilitate review of investigative report

Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 August 2016, 10:24 by Denis Chabrol

The Chief Executive Officer of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) , Michael Khan will be asked to take his accumulated annual leave to pave the way for government to review a damning investigative report into the affairs of that health care institution, sources said.

Khan resumed duty after the audit was completed, causing a split between the Board of Directors and the government over whether he should continue in office.

Sources said Khan would be requested to take his accumulated leave. According to his three-year contract, which expires in August 2017, he is entitled to 42 days vacation leave per year.

Among the findings in the investigation conducted by the accounting firm, Ram and Mc Rae, is that Khan had instructed that a total of GYD$1.4 million in income tax not be deducted from  responsibility allowance totaling GYD$4.4 million at a rate of GYD$100,000 per month from January, 2011 to September, 2014. “We consider this action by the CEO as a serious breach of the law and an abuse of his authority warranting some sanction by the Board of Corporation,” states the report on the The Special Investigation into Financial Operations and Functioning of the GPHC that was ordered by the Finance Ministry.

The accounting and auditing firm stated that “in breach of the law” Khan in a handwritten note subscribed to the Memo to the Director of Financial and General Services, that the “allowance should be paid tax free.” “Mr. Khan must have been aware that the Board made no decision on the tax implications of the payment to him of a responsibility allowance, that the payment by law is subject to PAYE (Pay As You Earn), and that the tax is deducted from responsibility allowances paid to other members of staff of the corporation.”

The probe also found that there was poor internal control and the absence of Standard Operating Procedures for departments especially Finance and Pharmacy that overall has led to micromanagement of the GPHC by the CEO in areas such as all payments of petty cash, payroll, payment to suppliers etc; the signing of contracts, handling of purchasing and mailing of bank drafts to overseas suppliers and approval of all requests for purchases.