PAC refers 2 regulators for prosecution
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament has referred the managements of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) and the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA) to the Office of the Attorney-General for prosecution.
They are to be arraigned for engaging in procurement breaches.Subscribe
While the Auditor-General’s Report found the GPHA culpable for engaging in procurement without the approval of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) to the tune of GH¢6.3 million when it purchased vehicles that included a Toyota Land Cruiser and a Toyota Camry, the GMA allegedly used the price quotation method for procuring goods, with contract values that exceeded the threshold for price quotation.
The Chairman of the PAC, Dr James Klutse Avedzi, gave the directive when the two organisations appeared before the committee yesterday.
It followed submissions by the Vice-Chairman of the PAC, Dr Samuel Atta Mills, that the GPHA had engaged in procurement, without the approval of the PPA, to the tune of GH¢6.3 million when it purchased vehicles.
He said the GPHA management's response for not going through approval was that the authority had standardised Toyota and Audi vehicles for three directors and Toyota saloon cars for heads of departments because of their robustness.
That, Dr Atta Mills submitted, meant that they had to deal with Stelin Motors Ghana Limited and Toyota Ghana Limited, since they were reputed firms for the sale, maintenance and after-sale services of Toyota vehicles.
"Auditors requested that management be sanctioned in accordance with the Public Procurement Act," he averred.
Responding, Dr Avedzi said the matter was a straightforward one that did not require any argument.
"So Clerk, take note; we will refer this matter to the Office of the Attorney-General for prosecution.
"Whatever defence you have, kindly do that in court; you will be set free or you will be fined," he added.
The Auditor-General’s Report also indicated that the management of the GPHA, through the Evaluation Committee, recommended PKF Scientific Limited to supply a chemistry analyser at a contract sum of GH¢248,246.87.
“The contract was, however, awarded to and executed by DCL, a non-tenderer, in the sum of GH¢276,674.27,” the report said, and recommended that the additional cost of GH¢23,420 be jointly refunded.
The report recommended that the Director-General and the Director of Finance and acting Director of Procurement of the GPHA should refund GH¢23,427.40 in connection with the award of the contract to a non-tenderer.
In the case of the GMA, the PAC Chairman agreed with the Auditor-General’s Report that the Director-General, the Deputy Director General, Finance, and the Head of Procurement be sanctioned in accordance with prescriptions of Section 92 of the PPA Act, Act 663, as amended.
The report said, among other things, that the GMA used the price quotation method in procuring goods with contract values that exceeded the threshold for price quotation.
“We urge management to always adhere to the provisions of the public procurement law. Meanwhile, the officials who authorised the transactions should be sanctioned in accordance with prescriptions of Section 92 of Act 663,” Dr Avedzi said.
The National Communications Authority (NCA), led by its Director-General, Joe Anokye, also appeared before the committee.
He said the NCA had agreed on a payment plan with Globacom, operators of GLO mobile network, to settle its indebtedness to the state, represented by the NCA.
However, he said, anytime the payment schedule was due, the company ran into some difficulties.
Mr Anokye added that in dealing with Globacom, the NCA had to factor the plight of subscribers in the equation, a position that had prevented the regulatory authority from taking the company off air.
He said the company’s licence was due for renewal in July this year, and that as part of the regulatory obligation, for the licence to be renewed “you have to clear all your outstanding indebtedness”.