The former Chief Executive Officer of the Driver Vehicle and Licensing Authority (DVLA), Justice Amegashie, told Parliament yesterday that the government was forced into renewing the deal with Foto-X due to public agitation over the delays in printing the drivers’ licenses.
According to him, the then Minister of Transport, Collins Dauda, approved the deal with Foto-X in August 2012 to get the cards printed.
He said this when he appeared before the Committee on Roads and Transport together with two other former chief executives of the authority, Rudolph Beckley and Justice Joe Appiah, to assist in the committee’s investigations into the contractual disagreement between DVLA and Foto-X.
The committee, Chaired by Theophilus Tetteh Chai, was also investigating the circumstances that led to an increase of the contract sum from US$3.6 million to US$9.9 million.
Mr. Amegashie said due to the intense public pressure on DVLA to issue the licences, the authority kept Foto-X in operation after the initial contract had expired, although it agreed that the operations of the company would be transferred to DVLA once the contract had ended.
He said nobody was in the position to take over the work of Foto-X and that the deal was approved because there was a backlog of more than 200,000 licences that needed to be cleared.
The DVLA, in 2006, entered into a six-year agreement with Foto-X for the latter to install equipment for the issuance of drivers’ licence cards to replace the booklet drivers’ licence.
When the US$2.7 million contract was about to end, Foto-X submitted a proposal for a renewal of the contract which was allegedly entered into in 2012 for a 10-year period.
However, in 2013, the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) launched an investigation into the viability of the contract awarded in 2006 and the circumstances surrounding the signing of the second contract.
It described the contract as fraudulent and recommended to the Attorney General to take legal action against Foto-X to refund to the state, an excess contract payment of GH¢15.4 million paid to it by DVLA.
It also called for the abrogation of the 10-year contract signed between DVLA and Foto-X.
Mr. Tetteh Chai told the media after the meeting that the committee had received the necessary documents on the contract and would take the necessary decision in due time.
By Yaw Kyei