NEWS

State rehab body ?wasted money,? report finds

An investigation by the public administration watchdog into the finances of the Organization Against Drugs (OKANA) indicates that several managers of the state body were responsible for wasteful spending and that staff too were guilty of excess.

A prosecutor is to determine whether anyone should face criminal charges after the probe by Public Administration General Inspector Leandros Rakintzis showed that OKANA staff wages increased by between 60 and 182 percent from 2003 to 2009.

There are also indications that staff were paid for bogus overtime as some of the organization?s drivers declared that they had been delivering methadone to patients as late as midnight. Another finding of Rakintzis?s probe is the excessive use of cell phones.

OKANA?s overall telephone bill between 2003 and 2009 was 400,000 euros, significantly more than the 300,000 euros spent on methadone. According to the report, one of the OKANA financial directors hired during the six-year period did not have a recognized university degree and had been a member of the committee that made the appointment.