Rot@Sports Ministry: GH¢525k earmarked for expenditure without Contract

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…RICS consult to account for $68,736.64

What many Ghanaians know for a fact is that the country’s attempt to host the 2017 African Cup of Nations never materialised. The outgone President of the Confederation of African Football, Issah Hayatou, rejected the bid documents of Ghana, and controversially awarded the tournament to Gabon, in which the Black Stars eventually participated and performed terribly.

What is, however, not known, because it was hidden from the eyes of the public, is that the whole bidding process was fraught with fraud, which has now been exposed by the Auditor General (AG) in his 2015 report on Ministries, Departments and Other Agencies (MDAs).

According to the report, section 40 of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663) requires procurement entities to seek approval of Public Procurement Authority (PPA) before they engage in single source procurement.

“We, however, observed that the Ministry (Youth and Sports) engaged RICS Consult Limited, through single source selection, to prepare documentation to bid and host the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2017, without prior approval from the Public Procurement Authority (PPA). The Ministry could not also provide us with the contract documents awarding RICS Consult Limited the consulting services.”

According to the AG, records available showed that the Ministry of Youth and Sports was committed to pay the company an amount of $525,000, out of which $68,736.44 had been paid, leaving an outstanding balance of $456,263.56.

“We recommended that management should investigate and ensure that the amount of $68,736.64 paid had been properly accounted for, and the appropriate sanctions enshrined in Section 92 of the Act meted out to those who infringed on the Law,” the AG advised.

Whilst the financial irregularities were going on at the Ministry itself in Accra, the departments and agencies under it were also doing their own thing in the regions.

In Sekondi, with the sports authority, for instance, the AG noted that contrary to Regulation 39(2c) of FAR, 2004, which requires heads of accounts sections to control disbursement of funds and ensure that the transactions are properly authenticated to show that amounts are due and payable, “we noted that the sports authority paid GH¢50,856.14 on 40 payment vouchers, but these were not supported with receipts, invoices and other expenditure details to confirm the propriety of the transactions.

“Our follow-up on 23 March 2016, disclosed that GH¢13,287.00 had been accounted for, leaving GH¢37,569.14.

“We recommended that management should ensure that the payments are properly acquitted, failing which the authorising and paying officers involved should be surcharged with the amount,” the report said.

It continues, Regulation 15(1) of FAR, 2004 states that “any public officer or revenue collector who collects or receives public and trust moneys shall issue official receipts for them, and pay them into the relevant Public Fund Bank Account within 24 hours of receipt, except in exceptional circumstances to be identified by the Minister.”

“We noted that, Rendell Engineering Services Limited paid GH¢25,000.00 as rent for occupying the Essipong Camping Complex (China House), between March 2015 and February 2016, but the amount was not recorded in the cash book.

“Management explained that the amount was spent on renovation on the camping complex, but there were no records to substantiate it. We recommended that management should properly account for the total amount, or be surcharged with the amount.”

Overdue advance – GH¢3,550

Regulation 110 FAR, 2004 provides that “a head of department or the officer to whom the duties of the head of department have been delegated shall ensure that advances issued are duly recovered in accordance with the appropriate agreement.”

“We noted that 13 members of staff who were granted advances totaling GH¢4,200.00, between May 2008 and January 2012, had paid only GH¢650.00, leaving a balance of GH¢3,550.00. We urged management to ensure that the monies are recovered to chest within the shortest possible time.”

Source: Emmanuel Akli || The Chronicle

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