The Auditor General has revealed the Ghana Health Service breached provisions of the Procurement Act in buying 332 pick-up vehicles valued at GH₵10.4 million.

The revelations contained in Auditor-General's 2011 report indicated the Health Service handpicked its preferred supplier, Auto-World Ltd without obtaining approval from the Public Procurement Authority.

The auditors observed if the Ghana Health Service wanted to adopt sole-sourcing and skip the legal requirement to advertise for companies to express interest, it should have sought permission to do so.

The audit report noted the 332 Great Wall Pick-ups were obtained on hire purchase at GH₵10.4 million and 10 Great Hovers at more than GH₵530,000. Another company was also selected to supply condoms valued at more than GH₵1million without following the law.

The audit report recommended sanctions against the Management of the Service in accordance with Article 92 of the PPA 2003.

"Any person who contravenes any provision of this Act commits an offence and where no penalty has been provided for the offence, the person is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding 1000 penalty units or a term of imprisonment not exceeding five years or to both".

At the Committee hearing yesterday, Director-General of the GHS, Dr Ebenezer Appiah-Denkyira told PAC he was not well-informed about the award of the contract. He directed that the Transport Manager be made to answer.

But the Transport manager Mr Ebo Hammond had disappeared when it was time to answer questions on the contract awarded to Auto World.

Mr Ebo Hammond re-appeared after some minutes, explaining he suffered a stomach upset.

The Chairman of the PAC, Mr Kwaku Agyeman Manu criticized the Director-General of the GHS, Dr Ebenezer Appiah-Denkyira for failing to ensure the pro-transparency legislation is duly followed in procuring items.

Mr. Kwaku Agyeman Manu pushed for the Minister of Health, Mr Alex Segbefia, to have the Transport Manager Mr. Ebo Hammond arrested. He noted violating the Procurement Act was a criminal offence.

The Ghana Health Service is scheduled to appear before the Public Accounts Committee again as the audit report detailed several irregularities and disregard for accountability and transparency.