Our attention has been drawn to a news story by GNA and published on Myjoyonline.com on May 1st 2019 titled: “PAC Orders Trade Fair Company To Pay Former Employees.”

The article repeated a false allegation made on oath before the Parliamentary Committee by a disgruntled former employee of the company without clearly stating the response from the current CEO of the company. At the sitting of the Public Accounts Committee on April 30, 2019, a former employee of the company (Mr. Richmond Odoi Brown) was permitted by the Chairman of the committee to read an unvetted prepared statement to the committee in which he alleged that the current CEO and management of Trade Fair Company wrongfully terminated him as the company auditor and replaced him with a Nephew of the CEO.

The Trade Fair Company would like to categorically state that the Auditor of Ghana Trade Fair Company Limited is NOT A NEPHEW TO THE CURRENT CEO OF THE COMPANY and is of no relation whatsoever to her.

This was made clear at the hearing and yet your report opted to ignore that material fact.

Furthermore, the former employee’s engagement with the company was lawfully terminated as also stated by the current CEO during the hearing.

The mismanagement of the Trade Fair before 2017 is of public knowledge, with employees going nearly two years without pay and power supply to site cut off, etc. The Public Accounts Committee chose to focus on some of such matters (outside of the report before it).  The mandate of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), as we understood it, was to examine the report of the Auditor General on the state-owned company and determine if there were any grounds to refer any infractions to the appropriate authorities.

Specifically, the matter before the PAC on the said date, as we understood it, was to examine the 2014 Report of the Auditor General in which a case was laid with supporting documentary evidence alleging that the former CEO and management at the time misused company funds without Payment Vouchers and Receipts. The report stated that during the audit of the company in 2014, the former CEO could not produce payment vouchers and receipts for Ghc349,000 of company funds, which he claimed had been stolen when thieves broke into the accounts offices of the company during his time in office. A claim that the then accountant disputed during the PAC hearing.

However, additionally, the parliamentary committee chose to shift its attention to the concerns of former employees, as well.  Mainly this was about the settlement of salary arrears of former employees, including the same former employees who are alleged to be at the centre of the alleged infractions identified in the Auditor General’s report.  The chairman of the committee, in line with this, read from documents to do with the employment and salary status of the said ex-employee.

The current CEO and management of the Ghana Trade Fair company would like to assure the public that we take the substantive matters identified in the report of the Auditor General very seriously and our focus since taking office has been to settle employees’ salary arrears dating back 18 months and to pull the company up from the brink, preparing the site for redevelopment. We are happy to report that since 2017, employees are paid on time and we are determined to continue with this form of management.

Though the company cannot make editorial decisions for MyJoyonline.com, if you wish not to focus on the substantive matter, we are requesting that you correct the false impression which your story carried.