PAC directs company to refund GH¢678,344 to Fisheries Commission - Or supply Toyota Prado vehicles
The Public Accountants Committee (PAC) has directed Gumah and Sons Ltd, a private engineering firm, to either refund GH¢678,344 to the Fisheries Commission or supply two Toyota Prado vehicles it was contracted to supply to the commission in October 2021.
The committee said the company should refund the money with interest into the account of the commission by the end of February this year.
“Looking at the nature of this transaction, we think that Gumah and Sons Ltd should compute the interest from the day that they failed to supply the vehicles up to the day that they finish paying the last pesewa,” the committee directed.
The Chairman of PAC, Dr James Klutse Avedzi, gave the directive when the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Mavis Hawa Koomson, and other officials of the ministry appeared before the committee to answer queries raised over infractions contained in the Auditor-General on the public accounts of ministries and other agencies for the year ended December 31, 2022.
Per the report, the Fisheries Commission, under the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, through a competitive tendering process, contracted the Gumah and Sons Ltd to supply eight Toyota Hilux pick-ups at an amount of GH¢2,133,995 and two Toyota Prados at the cost of GH¢947,924 in October 15, 2021.
Though the company supplied both the eight pick-ups and the two Toyota Prados to the commission, the two Prados were returned to the company due to major defects.
Out of the amount, the company has been able to refund GH¢269,580, leaving a balance of GH¢678,344.
Responding to questions from the committee over what triggered an overpayment of the contract sum as contained in the A-G’s report, Ms Koomson said her ministry did not engage in any overpayment of a contract sum.
She told the committee that the two Toyota Prado vehicles were returned to the supplier because they had major defects.
She produced two letters from the Chief Director of the Ministry, Kwesi Armo-Himbson, dated October 15, 2021, that indicated that there were two different contracts amounting to GH¢3,081,919.
She explained that the contract for the supply of eight Toyota Hilux vehicles amounted to GH¢2,133,995, while that for the procurement for the two Toyota Prado vehicles was GH¢947,924.
She, therefore, requested that the committee allowed the ministry to go back to do some reconciliation of any misunderstanding emanating from the A-G’s report.
When a member of the committee asked the ministry if it could establish that Gumah and Son Ltd was into car business and whether or not the ministry used the appropriate procurement process to select the company to supply the vehicles, the Chief Director said “all the necessary processes were followed for that particular procurement.
“We used competitive tendering process and the company tendered and they went through the necessary processes and we awarded the contract.
“At the time that they were submitting the bids, they submitted enough documentation to indicate that they were competent enough to supply the vehicles,” Mr Armo-Himbson said.