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Put Ursula Owusu, others before court – IMANI Africa

Policy think tank, IMANI Africa, is urging the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) to take steps to prosecute the Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu and other officials at the ministry who are complicit in the Kelni GVG deal.

While commending the PPA for initiating legal action against some state agencies for violating the Public Procurement Law Act 663 in the award of contracts, which has cost the nation huge sums of money, he is pushing for them to follow up on the fishy Kelni GVG contract.

The affected organisations include the National Lotteries Authority, National Communications Authority, the Electricity Company of Ghana, the Electoral Commission, Ghana Airport Company Limited and the Ghana Water Company.

The report containing the proven infractions has been sent to Attorney-General’s Office and the Economic and Organised Crime Office for further investigations.

In addition to the six organisations, which have been reported over infractions of the Law, (the CEO of the PPA) also said 10 others were being audited by his outfit.

But IMANI in a social media post stressed the need for the PPA to turn its attention to the Communications Ministry because they grossly violated the PPA Act in the award of the controversial $89m telecom revenue monitoring contract signed with Haiti-based company, Kelni GVG.

The deal will allow the government to among others, determine the telecom operators are declaring accurate figures.

Read IMANI Africa’s full post below

MANI Congratulates the Public Procurement Authority for Showing Leadership with Teeth & Urges it to expand reach to KelniGVG

IMANI welcomes a news story and the decision of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) to prosecute ”six state organisations for violating the Procurement Law (Act 663). They are the National Lotteries Authority, National Communications Authority, the Electricity Company of Ghana, the Electoral Commission, Ghana Airport Company Limited and the Ghana Water Company. The report containing the proven infractions has been sent to Attorney-General’s Office and the Economic and Organised Crime Office for further investigations. In addition to the six organisations, which have been reported over infractions of the Law, (the CEO of the PPA) also said 10 others were being audited by the Unit”- MyJoyonline.

IMANI is glad that the National Communications Authority is one of the delinquent organisations cited for grave infractions against the Procurement Law. It is our hope that the PPA will broaden its reach to include the curious matter of KelniGVG if it has not done so already. IMANI further pleads with the PPA to cite the Ghana Revenue Authority, the Ministry of Communications and Ministry of Finance as collusive entities as far as KelniGVG is concerned.

Here is why.

1. The Kelni GVG contract is multi-year, so section 33 of the Public Finance Management Act,(PFMA) 2016 requires that it should be approved by (a) the Minister for Finance, and (b) Parliament. Even though payments have been made, ($13.5m accrued) the contract has not been approved by Parliament. The statement by the Minister for Communications on the floor of Parliament does not represent parliamentary approval.

2. In the contract, the Ministry of Communication (MoC) and Kelni GVG (KGVG) have agreed that the National Communications Authority (NCA) should pay for the KGVG’s services. This offends the National Communications Authority Act, 2008 (Act 769) which makes the NCA a body corporate with its own governing board. The NCA cannot pay for services it has not contracted.

3. Again the MOC and KGVG have agreed that the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) pays for the services of KGVG. This also offends the GRA Act, 2009 (Act 791) which makes the GRA a body corporate with a governing board. The GRA cannot pay for services it has not contracted, which services are outside their budget as approved by Parliament in the 2018 Budget Statement.

4. The Communications Services Tax (Amendment) Act, 2013 requires the Minister for Finance and Minister for Communications to set up the common monitoring platform that KGVG is providing. The payment for the services should be captured in the budgets for these two ministries and paid for by them. If they did not, then as covered entities under the PFMA (Act 921), they should revise their budgets through due process before the two ministries can take on those expenditure.

5. Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Communications, GRA, and NCA are all covered entities under the PFMA. No covered entity is permitted to incur cost and place it on another covered entity that has not budgeted for that expenditure. Please note that under section 96(2) of the PFMA (Act 921), it is a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment or a fine, or both, for a spending officer to spend beyond their budget.

6. On any of these grounds, the contract could be cancelled or any payment for the contract by NCA or GRA can be objected to by the PPA and subsequently nullified by a COMPETENT COURT AND JUDGE/JUDGES. And the two ministries just cannot find the budget to finance this KGVG contract.

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Source: www.asempanews.com

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