Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta

Government of Ghana has been cited for engaging in various procurement breaches and taking huge corruption risks since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in the country in March 2020.

In a 67-paged document put together by the Community Development Alliance, government is accused of engaging in irregular procurement practices that violate Ghana’s procurement laws, regulations, codes, and international conventions and best practices.

Listing some examples of irregular procurements made over the period, the document revealed that the contract awarded to four Ghanaian garment manufacturing companies that had been given loans of $10m through the Ghana Exim Bank to produce PPEs, face masks, medical scrubs, hospital gowns, and headgears was without tender.

Again, the companies were also not registered with the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) at the time the contract was awarded.

On the $1million contract awarded to develop the Covid-19 tracker app, the document stated that the two foreign companies namely iQuent Technologies and Ascend Digital Solutions were not legally registered with the Public Procurement Authority and did not go through tender.

The Corruption Risk Assessment report by the Community Development Alliance also explained that the contract awarded to Frontiers Healthcare Solution Services Limited to conduct Covid-19 antigen tests at the Kotoka International Airport was also without tender.

Just like the company in charge of the Covid-19 tracker, Frontier Healthcare Solution Services Limited had also not registered with PPA and was unlicensed by the health facilities regulator, HEFRA.

On the disinfection and fumigation of public institutions across the country, including markets and schools, the Corruption Risk Assessment report said Zoomlion was awarded the contract based on sole sourcing.

“Contract for nation-wide disinfection and fumigation of over 464 markets was awarded to Zoomlion on sole-source basis, in addition to another contract by the Ministry of Education and Ghana Education Service to disinfect and fumigate over 850 High Schools across Ghana and 3700 schools in the Greater Accra region,” part of the report read.

Already, the Minority in Parliament has been calling on government to give detailed account of funds received during the pandemic and how much was spent between March 2020 and January this year.

The demand follows a clarification by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta after his presentation of the 2020 Mid-year Budget review that only GHC12million was spent on hot meals for the underpriviledged during the lockdown and not GHC54 million as he had earlier captured.

But touching on this in the report, the Community Development Alliance described the development as the biggest red flag in the whole Covid-19 spending saga.

According to the report, GHC42million was rather spent on hot meals during the period, without any proper tendering or documentation.

On the transportation of frontline health workers, the report indicated that an amount of GHC2million was allocated but it doesn’t appear to have been fully utilized; leaving GHC1,622,000 unaccounted for.

Find the full report below: