GAA moves to sanitise auctioneering industry

OKINE PIXThe Ghana Auctioneers Association (GAA), says it is intensifying the implementation of measures to sanitise the auctioneering industry in the country.

The measures are part of efforts to ensure more professionalism and credibility in the industry, as well as the provision of quality auctioneering services.

As part of the measures, the association, in collaboration with the Auctioneers Registration Board, is ensuring that only qualified and licensed auctioneers operated in the country and also ensure that auctioneers strictly adhered to professional ethics, standards and the law.

Calvis Okine, President of the Association, in an interview with Times Business in Accra on the development of the industry, said it was time the association raised its output to meet international standards.

“Auctioneering is serious business and we need to do it well,” he said.

According to him, Ghana’s auctioneering industry which was created with the passage of the Auction Sales PNDC Law 230 of 1989, had taken a long time in growing due to a number of challenges including sub-standard practices and the poor commitment of auctioneers to the development of the association.

Currently, he explained that there were about 350 auctioneers across the country, with only 88 active.

Until 2012, he said, the board issued licences to people who have not taken the prescribed examinations as required by the law, adding that the practice was stopped in 2012 when the association held the first written examination for 46 candidates out of which 33 passed.

Section 5(1) of the Auction Sales Law states that “no person shall practise as an auctioneer unless the board is satisfied that he has passed a prescribed written examination conducted jointly by the Ghana Institute of Surveyors and the Ghana Auctioneers Association; and he has served an apprenticeship for one year under a licensed auctioneer”.

To correct the earlier illegal issuance of licenses by the board, Mr. Okine said all such licenses were revoked, and most of the affected people were made to write the 2012 examinations to qualify to apply for license.

After that, he said the second examination was conducted in 2014 in which 29 out of 43 candidates passed, adding that a graduation ceremony would be held for the successful candidates on Thursday.

As part of plans to improve the professionalism of the practitioners, he said the association was arranging to conduct refresher courses for members to be abreast of modern trends in the industry, while in the long term strategy, an auctioneering school would be established.

“We want to develop the profession to attract more educated people,” he said.

In addition, he said the association was working with the Board to get the law reviewed to keep it in tune with modern trends.

For instance, he said the clause which required the association to jointly organise the examination with the Ghana Institute of Surveyors would have to change for the association to handle it alone because at the time of drafting the law, the association was not developed to conduct such an exercise.

“We would continue to strive to transform the system,” he said, and called for the commitment and support of all members.

Although membership is not compulsory, he reminded licensed auctioneers that the association is the only group recognised by the law, “so it is better to join it in your own interest”.

By Edmund Mingle

 

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