Covid-19 Testing at KIA: Minority to move a Motion in Parliament for a bi-partisan inquiry

The Minority caucus in parliament has served notice; it would be tabling a motion on the floor of the House for a full-scale bi-partisan parliamentary inquiry into the award of a contract to Frontier Healthcare Solution Services Limited at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), to conduct COVID-19 testing.

The move is to fish out individuals responsible for the illegal award of the Contract without recourse to the laid down process in Public Procurement and without the approval of parliament with regards to Fees and Charges Act.

So far, about four Ministers have denied knowledge of the award of the COVID-19 testing contract to Frontier Healthcare.

Minister designate  for Health, Kweku Agyeman-Manu, Minister designate  for Justice and Attorney General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, Minister designate  for Foreign Affairs, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey and Minister designate for Information who was also a member of the government COVID-19 Taskforce have all denied knowledge of the details of the contract when they appeared before the Appointments Committee of Parliament for vetting.

All four Ministerial nominees who were unable to give details of the contract which enabled Frontier Healthcare to charge a fee of $150 per passenger per COVID-19 test upon arrival or before departure at the airport.

At a press conference in parliament on Friday, February 19, 2021, Acting Minority Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa said the evasive response by the various ministerial nominees who were directly related to the contract smacks of conspiracy and or abetment of illegal crime

With the foregoing, Okudzeto Ablakwa said the minority has resort to course a motion to be moved on the floor of parliament when the House resumes sitting early next month.

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According to the Minority Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, the government in the award of the COVID-19 test to Frontier Healthcare Contract, did not only breach section 41 of the Public Procurement Act (PPA), but also violated the Fees and Charges Act as well as Section 11 of the Health Institutions and Facilities Act.

The Minority said with this clear illegality, they would not allow the deal to go unquestioned which is why they have decided to table a motion on the Floor when parliament

“We will want a full-scale investigation into this matter. So when parliament resumes next month, we the minority side have taken a decision to move a motion for a bi-partisan parliamentary inquiring into this whole matter. We believed these multiple Ministers on this matter was to make it impossible for illegality but it appears no one seems to know and be responsible and we want a probe into this matter for those responsible to be dealt with,” Okudzeto Ablakwa stated.

The Minority said the fact that, the former Minister for Procurement, Sarah Adwoa Safo, also claimed he was not involved as a Minister in the process that resulted to the award of the state contract to Frontier Healthcare to do testing for COVID-19 at the KIA is most intriguing.


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