3 top officers of 8 assemblies in hot water …to face prosecutions over procurement breaches

Management staff of eight assemblies namely; Municipal/District Chief Executives, District Co-ordinating Directors and Finance Officers has been recommended for prosecution by Attorney-General’s office for various procurement breaches.

According to the 2018 Auditor General’s report, the eight assemblies made 35 payments for goods and service totaling GH¢480,815.13 without seeking for alternative quotations from other prospective suppliers, or seeking approval from the Public Procurement Authority for sole sourcing.

The report indicated that section 20 of the Public Procurement (Amendment) Act, 2016 (Act 914) requires procurement entities to request quotations from at least three different sources that should not be related in terms of ownership, shareholding or directorship.

According to the report, Aowin Assembly raised one Payment Voucher (PV) amounting to GH¢44,950 for the maintenance of feeder roads, Tarkwa-Nsuaem, three PVs amounting to GH¢58,850 for the purchase of cement and others, Prestea- Huni Valley Municipal, two PVs amounting to GH¢34,650 for school desks and vehicle engine and Wassa Amenfi East, five PVs amounting to GH¢117,702 for the purchase of building materials.

The Nzema East Assembly also raised four PVs amounting to GH¢71,180 for office equipment, Suaman, three PVs for vehicle repairs amounting to GH¢22,005, Wsasa Amenfi West, five PVS amounting to GH¢79,779.48 for hiring of low beds and Wassa Amenfi Central, 12 PVs for the purchase of stationaries.

The report added that the breaches occurred because the Chief Executives, Coordinating Directors and the Finance Officers circumvented the procurement process in the award of contracts.

It added “We could, therefore, not confirm whether the assemblies obtained value for money in the transactions, as uncompetitive procurement could be opened.

We recommend sanctions to the management staff in accordance with section 51 of the Procurement Amendment Act, Act 914.”

The assemblies appeared at the ongoing Public Accounts Committee (PAC) public hearing in Takoradi and were added to the list of organisations and institutions recommended to the AG’s office for prosecution.

Similarly, four assemblies have also been cited for procurement outside procurement plans totalling GHc1,085,784.40.

They are Jomoro Assembly that raised six PVs amounting to GH¢528,353.36 for the purchase of building materials, Wassa Amenfi Central, two PVs amounting to GH¢304,352.04, for drilling boreholes and Wassa Amenfi East, four PVs amounting to GH¢253,079 for fumigation.

In his submission, Vice Chairman of PAC, Samuel Atta Mills said “You should be sanctioned and so you will be added to the list we recommend to the Attorney General for prosecution.”

He said, procurement infractions attracted sanction of 2,500 penalty units, that is GH¢30,000 or five years imprisonment or both.

Chairman of PAC, Dr James Klutse Avedzi told the assemblies “You need to have a procurement plan in the course of the year.”

Meanwhile, the AG report had shown that two assemblies purchased store items worth GH¢198,367.60, but failed to provide store record receipts usage as well as distribution list to confirm the beneficiaries of the items.

Sekondi-Takoradi raised five PVs amounting to GH¢147,948.60 for the purchase of sheep to  Muslims, assorted items to PWD, rice and building material while Wassa Amenfi West also raised eight PVs amounting to GH¢50,419 for the purchase of plastic chairs, cement, streetlights and building materials.

FROM CLEMENT ADZEI BOYE, TAKORADI

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