What is in the report?
Below are some of the report’s highlights:
Regarding public kindergartens, the report revealed that there are 2635 teachers in kindergartens, 1196 of which have permanent status and 1439 or 54% work on a contract basis. Although the percentage of teachers specialized in kindergarten schooling does not exceed 43%, 277 of them handle administrative work or teach in schools lacking kindergarten.
Regarding contract employment in the secondary cycle, the report unveiled some of the deficiencies that lead to increasing the number of teaching hours on a contract basis as it is easy for permanent teaching staff to obtain medical reports validating their inability to teach or to apply for provisional retirement, sick and maternity leave or redeployment. Teaching hours in public secondary schools totaled 359,555, of which 183,895 or 51% were delivered by permanent teachers and 169,094 or 47% by contract teachers, although permanent teachers account for 61% (17,291) of the teaching staff and those teaching on a contract basis account for 39% (11,125). The report also noted that while the conventional number of students per teacher should not go below 25, the actual number is currently 13.4 nationwide, a figure that drops further to 9.3 students per teacher in the Mount Lebanon mohafaza. Ironically enough, contracting is still resorted to, causing a clear squandering of public funds.
In vocational teaching, there are 1,779 teachers working on a permanent basis and 11,191 contractually. Contract teachers “lack the sufficient competence particularly with respect to modern teaching methodologies” and this surplus results in squandered funds and creates confusion in vocational schools and institutes.
The report also noted that there are 66 secondary teachers, 64 teachers, 26 administrative staff and 31 concierges/ porters in teacher training academies. These academies spread across 32 buildings, 18 of which are rented at roughly LBP 960 million annually, and have currently no considerable role.
Despite the improvement seen in the Tenders Administration, the deals contracted out by the administration remain modest compared to those handled by the government. The deals are worth only LBP 976 billion, LBP 581 billion of which belong to the Ministry of Energy and Water as illustrated below:
The Central Inspection’s report pinpointed several corruptive practices within the administration, some of which are highlighted below:
- The report found out that the supervising physician at one of the governmental hospitals was showing up at work only once a week and several patients’ health cards lacked his approval and signature. Therefore, the hospital bills of the patients were not accurately examined before they were discharged. Furthermore, he signed on hospitalization files for patients where the names of the treating physicians or the medical codes were missing and also signed patients as discharged although they were, in fact, still in hospital. The physician also signed hundreds of invoices for surgeries for different cases where tests irrelevant to the surgery in question were requested and charged with no medical justification whatsoever.
- Regarding the official examinations, the report underlined that there were notable disparities in the grades of some Socio-economics students that led to the non-deserved success for a number of candidates.
- A public school teacher applied for education allowances for his two children for the year 2010-2011 although they had left their private vocational institute and one of them had started working for a private company and was even registered with the National Social Security Fund. Although the State Employees’ Cooperative denied him the allowance, the teacher had benefitted from education allowances for which he was not entitled for the years 2008/2009 and 2009/2010. The allowances were worth LBP 3.2 million.
- The Central Inspection found out that some beneficiaries from the assistance offered by the State Employees’ Cooperative were enrolling fraudulently in private vocational schools without attending classes in order to take advantage of the education allowance and the medical cover which the Cooperative continues to provide up to the age of 25.
- The Ministry of Public Health signed contracts with 27 supervising physicians pursuant to Cabinet decision no. 93 dated 28/11/2012 through a committee representing the Ministry of Public Health, the Ministry of Finance, and the office of the Minister of State for Administrative Reform. The monies owed to the physicians were to be paid from the credits allocated to hospitalization. The committee included two advisors to the Health Minister who are banned by the law from undertaking such tasks, not to mention that the committee finished its work after the expiration of the period that had been set for its work. The monthly compensation assigned for those physicians totaled LBP 2.2 million, i.e. up by LBP 500,000 from the amount prescribed in the effective decrees. Aside from all this, the primary breach remained in contracting employees without announcing and holding a fair contest by the Civil Service Council that would allow fair chances for all interested candidates to apply for the job.
- In collusion with some Urban Planning employees, a landowner was able to obtain a construction license that allowed him to erect a building composed of two blocks A (residential + commercial) and B (residential), each consisting of a ground floor and two upper storeys. The license dossier lacked a cadastral map for the plot in question, in addition to the total licensed area that totaled 840 square meters, i.e. up by 140 square meters from the authorized construction limit.
- A “citizen keen to save public funds” filed a complaint to the Central Inspection pinpointing the presence of inflated quantities in a file related to contracting the renovation and paving of a road at an approximate cost of LBP 4.6 billion. The complaint argued that the contractor was paid for works that were never executed. Investigation showed that the contract was awarded through an RFP process to the company at LBP 3.8 billion and that works were to end on 3/7/2013, one year after their commencement. However, the period was extended until 31/12/2014 pursuant to a decision by the Minister of Public Works and Transport. The Central Inspection’s report revealed that no detailed maps were available for the works and that the quantities were determined without regard to any technical standards.