PAC cracks whip: Officials of 12 GES offices land in hot water …face prosecution over GH¢1m procurement breaches

The management of 12 Ghana Education Service (GES) offices in six regions are to face prosecution over procurement breaches amounting to GH¢1,028,700.91.

They comprise district and mu­nicipal offices in Tema, Ledzokuku, and Ga Central in Greater Accra; Abuakwa North in Eastern; Tumu in Upper West; Hohoe in Volta; Sefwi Juaboso, Aowin and Sefwi Akontobra in Western North, and Asikuma Odoben Brakwa, Twifo Praso and Hemang in the Central Region.

The Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament, Dr James Klutse Avedzi, referred them to the Attorney General’s Office yesterday in Accra at the committee’s sitting.

The Committee is seeking an­swers to infractions in the Report of the Auditor-General on the Public Accounts of Ghana – Ministries, Departments and other Agencies for the year ended December 31, 2021.

The report said the 12 offices violated Section 20 of the Public Procurement (Amendment) Act, 2016 (Act 914) which requires procurement entities to request quo­tations from as many suppliers or contractors as practicable, but from at least three different sources.

These sources should not be related in terms of ownership, shareholding or directorship and the principles of conflict of interest shall apply between the procure­ment entities and their members and the different price quotation sources.

In line with the committee’s approach to non-competitive procurement, Dr Avedzi asked the management of the affected institutions to explain themselves to the Attorney-General’s office or the judge that would preside over their respective cases.

“Whatever excuses you have, package them nicely and give it to the judge, he might set you free,” he said.

Earlier, the committee upheld a recommendation in the AG report that a retired Eastern Regional Man­ager of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, Stephen Okpoti Mensah, should pay for an official vehicle which went missing under his care.

Per the report, the official vehicle with registration number GC 7923- 12 which was parked at the retired Regional Director’s official residence (SSNIT Flat Estate) was stolen in March 2019 while he was outside the country.

It said although the matter had since been reported to the police, it was a violation of Section 52 of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921) which required him to ensure a proper control system existed for custody and manage­ment of the assets.

The committee rejected the excuse that the theft case was being investigated by the police because after five years if no headway had been made, the retiree should take responsibility for the negligence that led to the theft of the vehicle.

The committee was of the view that he should have left the vehicle at the office, where there was security, before travelling, and that if every official is not held account­able for what happened to state property in their care, they would be mismanaged.


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