The Senior Minister, Mr Yaw Osafo Maafo and four other officials from the Ministry of Finance have initiated a court action against the Auditor General, Mr Daniel Yaw Domelevo to clear their names in relation to what is said to be breaches of the Public Procurement Act (PPA) that resulted in their payment of US$1 million to a private firm, Kroll and Associates.
The Auditor-General has concluded that Kroll was paid for no work done, following what he said was the persistent failure of the Senior Minister to provide proof of actual work done.
The Auditor-General has consequently recommended Disallowance of the payment of the US$1million to Kroll and Associates, which the government, through the Ministry of Finance paid.
Mr Domelevo has also Surcharged the Senior Minister, Mr Osafo Maafo and the four other officials from the Ministry of Finance.
But in a statement issued by Mr Osafo Maafo on Wednesday [December 11, 2019], he argued that the evidence available shows clearly that the Auditor General erred in law and professional procedures in the exercise of his powers regarding his audit on payments to Kroll and Associates Limited.
He is, therefore, hoping to use the legal action to clear his name and those of the four other officials.
“I have today Wednesday 11th December 2019, instructed my lawyers to commence legal processes to challenge a Disallowance and Surcharge imposed on me by the Auditor-General following his notice of the 24th of October, 2019.”
“The legal action has been initiated on behalf of myself and four other officials of the Ministry of Finance,” Mr Osafo Maafo said in a statement.
“I am optimistic that the courts will afford us the opportunity to prove the regularity of the said transaction and clear our names in the process,” Mr Osafo Maafo said in the statement signed by himself.
The government on September 26, 2017, signed a contract with Kroll Associates for some professional services.
The contract was signed on behalf of the government by Mr Yaw Osafo Maafo, the Senior Minister, and was to take effect from February 2017.
The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) for instance at a recent press conference stated that the contract “was curiously awarded to Kroll and Associates based on an expression of interest by the company.”
“Based on the expression of interest, the contract was eventually awarded on sole sourcing basis without prior approval from the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) contrary to the dictates of the Public Procurement Act 2003 (Act 663) as amended,” the NDC stated.
According to the NDC, it is “following the letter from the Auditor General demanding proof of approval from PPA, failure of which the Senior Minister stands liable for a surcharge, that the Office of the Senior Minister released some documents purporting to show PPA approval for the contract.”
A letter dated November 14, 2017, and addressed to the Minister for National Security, showed sole sourcing approval by the PPA. This purported approval went to the National Security Council Secretariat and not the Senior Minister, the NDC argued at its press conference.
According to the NDC, the sole sourcing approval by PPA conveyed to the National Security Council Secretariat was done and communicated on the 14th of November, 2017 and that it was notable that the contract to Kroll was awarded on 26th of September, 2017 with a retroactive effective date of 13th February, 2017. This simply reveals that the Kroll and Associates contract awarded by the Senior Minister, did not receive prior approval from the PPA, the NDC alleged.
“This is in clear violation of the Public Procurement Act, which calls for the immediate prosecution of all involved including the Senior Minister.”
“Following the Auditor-General’s intensified steps to reclaim the illegal payment from the Senior Minister, certain back door machinations are being engineered to have him removed,” the NDC General Secretary, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketiah said at the press conference.