The Senior Minister Yaw Osafo-Maafo has been surcharged for $1m over an agreement with a foreign company without following due process.
The Auditor-General Daniel Domelevo revealed on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Tuesday, the Senior Minister has 60 days to go to court to seek an order setting aside his surcharge.
Mr Domelevo said Yaw Osafo-Maafo’s reply to his queries over a government contract with Kroll Associates UK to provide consultancy services was unsatisfactory.
Using a single-source procurement process, Kroll Associates UK Ltd was contracted in 2017 to “review electronic evidence, identify assets abroad and manage a joint Civil and Criminal Assets recovery process.”
By September 2018, $1 million, the equivalent to ¢4.86 million was made to the company as full payment for its services.
But the Auditor-General has challenged the arrangement. He explained that by Ghana’s 1992 Constitution, the contract required parliamentary approval because it involved a foreign company.
“We are waiting for such parliamentary approval to come,” he said.
His demand for proof of work done by Kroll Associates has also not been satisfied, he said. “We want evidence of work being done” not “assurances”, the Auditor-General insisted.
The letter from the Senior Minister indicated some examples of asset-tracing work done and also refused to reveal others, explaining they are “classified security matters.”
He also questioned the validity of a letter from the Senior Minister to show the contract also had approval from the Public Procurement Authority.
“We don’t think they followed the procurement process,” he said.
Daniel Domelevo explained that contrary to the Public Procurement Authority Act, the letter showed approval was given by PPA Management. It should have been approved by the Board in line with Section 40 of the Act, he said.
The letter again showed, that the purported approval was given to the National Security Secretariat and not the Senior Minister who entered into the agreement on behalf of government, he indicated.
The ‘approval’ also came two months after the contract had already been signed, he said. The Auditor-General explained, the contract was signed on September 26, 2017, but the purported approval came on November 14th 2017.
“So there are a whole lot of questions,” he said.
The Auditor-General said, “I have issued a surcharge against the Senior Minister that he should pay the money back.”
Daniel Domelevo said the Senior Minister is yet to respond to the surcharge.