We have an Executive President with overwhelming powers that stretches from end-to-end, a parliament that is basically controlled by the same Executive and Judiciary we must be prepare to trigger it powers but, must be equally patient with time albeit, we must be rich. My interest is not what exists in the contract, which, we are all crying over, but the plot laid to be abused by the ever-powerful Executive. I would have missed it, if not for one more glance of faith the devil would have gone unnoticed.
Communication Service Tax Act
There is one thing I have yet realized about the Ghanaian political regime; wrong, corruption, bad corporate governance etc. are easily passed on to successors and trust me, they continue as if it’s was their personal project.
The question is what changed from Subah Infosolutions Limited to Kelni-GVG?
My answer will be the communication service tax act is what changed. Section 4 (1) and (2) of the CST Act, 2008 (Act 754) put the administrative and management responsibility at the doorsteps of the Commissioner General and further so in Section 14 (3) of that same Act gave the Commissioner General the authority to “request from any person in writing to provide security that the commissioner considers adequate for the protection of revenue”. This is the reason why the Ghana Revenue Authority contracted Subah Infosolutions Limited which, was subsequently terminated effective May 5, 2016
Then came the Communication Service Tax (Amendment) Act, 2013 (Act 864) which did not affect Section 4 (1), (2) and Section 14 (3) as described above. Thus, the administration and management of the Tax was intact in the hands of the Commissioner General but carefully put mind to it, Section 14 (4) was so affected by the Amendment. The power to award contract to provide security over revenue for the purposes of tax was taken from the Commissioner and place at the chamber of the politician (Minister of Finance and Communication) – the question is why? And your guess is as good as mine.
This is where those we voted for to check the Executive were suppose to protect us, this is when we should have cried like we are doing today about Kelni-GVG, but we failed our conscience, our duty and most of all we failed our nation, Ghana. Therefore weep not Ghana for the horses have already bolted from the stables.
The layman might be at a lost when the term assurance is used as it has been used in the Kelni-GVG contract, but let shave its beard, and its plain face is auditing. Government agencies have vast experiences contracting assurance services a knowledge I obtained first-hand working with one of the best audit firms in Ghana. How could they have forgotten one requirement that has never been missed by Government and it agencies in procuring the services of assurance or audit firms – their experience in similar assignment must be clearly exhibited by their proposal. Again, what happen to international standards for procuring such services; sorry, I have just been reminded this is Ghana where anything goes.
Focus and Mind
We can be better if we renew our mind and by extension our deed to transform Ghana. We can be a people of detail and substance rather than form, if we all put our minds to it. There is nothing wrong in the contract as it has been said but there is everything wrong in the plot.
Michael Nii Yarboi Annan
(MD, Object Consult)