THE National Training Agency’s (NTA) decision to purchase 350 kindles as gifts for its staff for Christmas 2014, using taxpayers money, was “madly flawed” said Public Accounts (Enterprises) Committee member David Small. “Most parents would buy these kindles themselves,” Small said. No cost was provided for the kindles and the NTA was asked to provide that along with the distribution list within 48 hours to the PAEC.
When asked on Tuesday, NTA chief executive officer Steve Arman told the PAEC, which was continuing its inquiry into the operations of the agency, that the NTA bought the kindles for its employees and On-the-Job Training staff who were then based at the NTA. Kindles were also given as gifts as was customary at the time, Arman said, to its stakeholders and to other institutions within the education sector.
At the time, he said, the staff complement was about 350. He said it was bought as gifts as the NTA was also celebrating its 15th anniversary.
Commenting on the NTA’s report which was provided by the internal auditor, Small said, the report was “damning. It speaks to a complete breakdown in systems, processes and governance.”
Addressing the CEO, he said, “Things have gone awry under your watch. What would permit the NTA to buy 350 kindles using the public purse?”